By Ryan C. Wood
The Notice of Chapter 7 or 13 Bankruptcy Case, Meeting of Creditors and Deadlines is the official notice to all creditors that a bankruptcy case was filed. This notice will list the date, time and location of the 341 meeting of the creditors. The notice also provides the deadlines to file a proof of claim or file an adversary proceeding objecting to discharge of debts. Each one of these dates or deadlines are extremely important in every bankruptcy case.
The first thing to look for is the bankruptcy case number in the upper right hand corner of the first page. A couple of lines below the case number you will see the date the bankruptcy case was filed towards the middle of the page. Below the case number will be the name and address of the person who filed for bankruptcy protection with the person’s last four digits of their social security number to the right. The next section contains the name and address for the attorney who represents the person who filed bankruptcy and the name and address of the trustee assigned to administer the bankruptcy estate, if any.
Towards the middle of the first page you will see the actual date, time and location of the 341 meeting of the creditors. This most likely will be the only time the person filing bankruptcy will meet with the trustee assigned to the case and it is the first and cheapest way for a creditor to question the person who filed bankruptcy if necessary. For the most part it is a waste of time and money ask a person questions at the 341 meeting of the creditors. Most trustee’s will only allow approximately 5 minutes of questioning before moving on to the next case. Most trustees have very crowded calendars and eventually they will have no time to eat lunch if the trustee gets behind.
The bottom half of the notice contains the deadline to object to the discharge of a debt or debts. This deadline should be sixty days after the date of the first schedule meeting of the creditors. This deadline can be extended by order of the court. Next will be the deadline to object to exemptions used to protect the assets of the bankruptcy filer. Lastly, the notice provides information about filing a proof of claim. In a Chapter 7 case proof of claims are only asked for when the trustee file a notice of possible dividend. The notice of possible dividend invites creditors to file their proof of amounts owed to possibly receive money from the bankruptcy estate. The second page of the notice provides an explanation of certain bankruptcy terms.