If you can’t find your social security card in preparation for your 341 meeting, don’t panic. While the rules require that you provide the trustee with evidence of your social security number, there is nothing that says it has to be in the form of your social security card.
Once you realize that you can’t find / no longer have your social security card, go ahead and make a request for a replacement card with the Social Security Administration. But, and this is especially true if you already filed your case, there is a good chance that you won’t get it in time for your 341 meeting.
Plan on attending your 341 meeting even if you can’t find your social security card by then. Not showing up is not a solution; it will actually make things more complicated. You may be able to complete your 341 meeting without your social security card if you have one of the acceptable alternatives with you.
There are a number of official documents that contain your full social security number that you can use instead:
- Form W-2 or Form 1099
- Medical insurance card (containing full social security number)
- Paystub containing full social security number (most don’t!)
- Social security administration report
Note: Your passport does not work for this! The reason you’re required to bring this to your 341 meeting is so the trustee can confirm that you submitted the same number to the court when you first filed your case. Your passport does not show your full social security number so it will not work.
What happens if I show up at my 341 meeting without any evidence of my social security number?
Since one of the trustee’s main responsibilities at your 341 meeting is to verify that your social security number matches the one you provided to the bankruptcy court when filing your case, the trustee may not conduct your meeting. But that’s why it’s extra important that you show up!
If you don’t, the trustee may just ask the court to toss out your case for failure to appear. If you’re there, on the other hand, you’re able to explain the situation and, more often than not, the trustee will provide you with a new date for your meeting.
If you know in advance that you’ll be showing up without adequate evidence of your social security number, it’s a good idea to give the trustee’s office a call to let them know. While they may not be able to reschedule your planned meeting right then and there, they’ll probably appreciate the heads up and will be able to provide you with instructions on how they’d like to handle it. You can find your trustee’s contact information on the Official Form 309A you received from the court shortly after filing under Question 5.
Note: Only the trustee can decide whether and how to reschedule or continue your 341 meeting. Filing a motion asking the court to reschedule your creditors’ meeting will not work.
Ideally, you’ll have located your social security card at the very beginning of the process and have everything ready to go by the time your creditors’ meeting rolls around. Of course, life doesn’t always go as planned. If you can’t find your social security card in time for the meeting, bring last year’s form W-2 from your employer or one of the other accepted alternatives.