Most of the time our clients want to know: “Do I have to go to court?” The answer is yes but it’s not like what you see on TV. Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code requires that all debtors meet with the trustee and answer questions pertaining to his or her bankruptcy case.
When a debtor files his or her bankruptcy petition, the court sends a notice to all creditors establishing a hearing date for a “meeting of creditors”. This court hearing is not a trial but an administrative hearing where the debtor meets with the trustee to answer questions pertaining to his or her financial situation.
Creditors may come to this hearing and ask questions but normally it is only the trustee there asking general questions regarding your bankruptcy case. This hearing normally takes place at the federal courthouse and it is a public hearing. Each debtor will have to bring identification and will be placed under oath prior to taking the witness stand. [These questions and answers act as testimony in your legal case so this hearing is normally recorded for that reason.]
Generally in an individual’s case the debtor will be at the courthouse for approximately an hour but will only talk to the trustee for a few minutes depending on the complexity of the case. Once your hearing with the trustee has concluded, you are free to leave.
Many people are anxious about going to a court hearing but our lawyers have attended thousands of creditors meetings over the years. We generally go over the questions the trustee will be asking when you meet with us and we do our best to relieve the stress and anxiety from having to go to a court hearing.
If you have any questions about the meeting of creditors or any other aspects of the bankruptcy case please do not hesitate to give our office a call and would be glad to schedule you a free case evaluation.