Requirements for Debtor
Once the bankruptcy case is filed the debtor is required to provide certain information to the Trustee. That information must be provided either prior to the 341(a) Meeting of Creditors or within a certain time period after the case if filed. In addition the debtor is required to commence payments to the trustee within thirty (30) days of the filing of the case.
Each debtor is required to provide the Trustee with copies of all pay stubs received from any employer during the sixty (60) day period prior to the filing of bankruptcy. If the debtor does not receive pay stubs due to being self-employed, receiving only government assistance, or other reason, the debtor must provide evidence of receipt of all income during that sixty (60) day period.
If that information is not provided to the Trustee within forty-five (45) days of the filing of bankruptcy, the bankruptcy case could be dismissed.
No later than seven (7) days before the first setting for the 341(a) meeting, the debtor must provide the Trustee with copies of all Federal and State tax returns required to be filed for the most recent tax year which ended prior to filing. For example, (1) if the bankruptcy case is filed on August 1, 2016, the debtor must provide copies of tax returns for 2015; (2) if the bankruptcy case is filed on January 2, 2016, the debtor must provide copies of tax returns for 2015. In the second example, if the returns have not been filed for the prior year, the 341(a) meeting will be held open until the returns are filed and copies provided to the Trustee. If the debtor has requested an automatic extension to file returns, the debtor must provide the Trustee with a copy of the extension request. The required tax returns will then be due before October 15th. Again the 341(a) meeting will be held open until the returns are provided.
PAYMENTS TO THE TRUSTEE
The debtor must begin submitting payments to the Trustee no later than thirty (30) days after the filing of bankruptcy. The payment amount will initially be based upon the proposed plan that is filed with the Court. The debtor will also receive a letter from the Trustee which will state the amount of money that must be paid prior to the 341(a) meeting. If the debtor intends to make plan payments through payroll deduction, the amount stated in the letter from the Trustee must be paid prior to the meeting date, whether the payroll withholding has begun or not. This may require the debtor to make the initial payments directly to the Trustee. The address for payments can be found here.
341(a) MEETING OF CREDITORS
After the case is filed the Trustee will schedule a 341(a) Meeting of Creditors. It is required that the debtor attend unless excused by order of the Court. The debtor is required to bring his or her government issued picture identification (e.g. driver’s license) and social security card (or other acceptable proof of the debtor’s social security number, such as a document from the Social Security Administration verifying the debtor’s social security number).