Will I have to go to court for my bankruptcy?

A lot of clients ask us if they will have to go before a Judge after they file bankruptcy, but in nearly all cases you will never see the inside of a courtroom. Instead, when you file bankruptcy you have to attend the “meeting of creditors,” also called a “341 meeting” after the section of the law that requires it. This meeting is scheduled by the Court, and for Chapter 7 cases, usually takes place about one month after the case is filed. At the meeting you will be required to answer questions about your case to a trustee in a conference room setting.

This meeting is usually very brief, lasting about ten minutes, and typically the only people in attendance at the table are you, your lawyer, and the trustee, who is a lawyer appointed by the Court to represent the creditors’ interests. Creditors may also come, but their attendance is rare. There will also be other people in the room who have filed and are waiting for their case to be called, because there are typically several cases scheduled within the same block of time. The trustee will ask you questions about the petition that you filed in an effort to review the type and value of your belongings, to make sure that everything is accurate and complete, and to clarify any specific questions he may have.

For more complicated cases, if you have lots of assets or have unusual circumstances in your case, the meeting can last longer and even be continued to another date. As long as all questions on the petition are answered comprehensively and accurately, the meeting should go smoothly. Many people who try to represent themselves without an attorney often get their meeting continued because they have not done something properly. This can be very frustrating for the person filing bankruptcy and for the trustee. It is always best to have an experienced bankruptcy attorney involved every step of the way to make sure that the trustee is happy. In turn, the chances are good that if the trustee is happy, you will be happy too.

If you have more questions about bankruptcy check out our FAQ, or feel free to contact us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *