Due to the public health crisis related to the Coronavirus 19 (or COVID-19), the Bankruptcy Administrator for the Eastern District of North Carolina has approved procedures under which the Meeting of Creditors, required under Section 341 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, may be held telephonically. These procedures are meant to be temporary, and are subject to change once the virus peaks and all “stay at home” orders have expired and/or “social distancing” directives by state, local, and federal authorities have been relaxed.
If the trustee assigned to the case(s) in which you are a party is John F. Logan, you should visit his website at ralch13.com for information on the policies and procedures applicable in his cases.
IF JOSEPH A. BLEDSOE, III IS THE TRUSTEE ASSIGNED TO THE CASE(S) IN WHICH YOU ARE A PARTY, THE FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS SHOULD BE OBSERVED WITH RESPECT TO ALL TELEPHONICALLY HELD 341 MEETINGS:
1. ALL CALLS WILL BE RECORDED.
2. To obtain the call-in number and time for the case(s) in which you are interested, find the date for the 341 Meeting in which you are interested on the previous webpage and click on the link. This will take you to a calendar where all cases scheduled to be heard on any particular day will be listed.
3. Call the conference line number shown on the calendar approximately 3 minutes before the time your meeting is scheduled to begin. For example, if the meeting in which you are interested is scheduled for 12:00 noon, call the assigned number at 11:57. PLEASE DO NOT CALL IN EARLIER THAN 3 MINUTES BEFORE THE SCHEDULED TIME.
4. Mute the call until your case is called. DO NOT place the call on hold.
5. When a case is called, a clerk will: (1) verify that each debtor and his or her attorney is present; (2) request each debtor to affirm that the testimony they will give during the meeting is true and accurate; and (3) request any creditor in attendance on the line to identify themselves. During these steps, please do not speak until you are requested to do so.
6. The trustee or his representative will begin the examination by asking a series of questions. After the trustee or his representative has finished, any creditor on the call will be given an opportunity to ask questions, as well.
7. Speak clearly.
8. Limit all background noise while your meeting is being held.
9. DO NOT use a speaker phone unless two or more persons are appearing on the same line (for example, a debtor and attorney using a speaker phone in the attorney’s office, or joint debtors using the same telephone at home).
10. Debtors without phone access should consult with their attorney as to how to proceed.
11. All parties appearing on the call, including counsel and creditors, are to be at a set location and not in transit at the time set for the meeting. Full attention to the questions being asked will be expected.
12. Only debtors and their counsel, along with creditors or interested parties, will be permitted on the call. “Moral support” or supplementary answers provided by friends or family cannot be allowed.
13. In addition to picture ID and proof of their social security number, debtors are expected to have available their Plan, schedules, and statements for review during the examination.
14. Time is limited. Counsel are encouraged to discuss any known issues with the case or a proposed plan prior to the 341 Meeting, when possible. Creditors are encouraged to notify the trustee’s office in advance if you believe questioning cannot be completed within the time allotted for the meeting, as shown on the calendar.