Despite its name, creditors rarely attend bankruptcy meetings of creditors (also called 341 hearings). However, this does not mean that your creditors are giving up their right to object to your discharge. Read on to learn more about what happens when no creditors come to your meeting of creditors.
(Learn all about bankruptcy's meeting of creditors, including what it is, who attends, what happens at it, how to prepare for it, and more.)
Creditors Are Not Required to Attend the Meeting of Creditors
When you file for bankruptcy, your creditors receive notice of the date and time of your meeting of creditors. But this does not mean that they will show up. Your creditors are invited, but not required, to attend your hearing. In most bankruptcy cases, no creditors will appear at the meeting of creditors.
Most Creditors Don't Appear at the Meeting of Creditors
Creditors are not allowed to conduct an extensive examination of debtors at the meeting of creditors. Generally, creditor questions must be limited to the nature and location of the debtor’s assets. Further, there are usually so many bankruptcies that the trustee only has a few minutes to devote to each case.
As a result, unless a creditor believes that you are committing fraud or hiding assets, it will not benefit from taking the time to come to your hearing. However, even if a creditor does not attend your meeting of creditors, it can still object to your discharge.
Creditors Still Have the Right to Object to Your Discharge
Your meeting of creditors is not the place for creditors to object to your discharge. If a creditor believes it has grounds to object to your discharge (such as fraud), it must file a complaint (called an adversary proceeding) in your case. (To learn about objections to discharge and adversary complaints, see Nolo's Adversary Proceedings topic area.)
As discussed, creditors do not lose their right to object to your bankruptcy discharge by not attending your meeting of creditors. In fact, creditors usually have 60 days from your initial meeting of creditors to object to your discharge. So even if a creditor does not appear at your 341 hearing, it can still file an objection to your discharge with the court.