When Do People Need To Go To Court In A Bankruptcy Case?
Many people hesitate to consider bankruptcy because of scary images in their minds of possibly standing in a courtroom before a scolding judge. People with debt problems already feel self-incriminating, in many cases, and the thought of going to bankruptcy court can be a deterrent.
In fact, those who do file bankruptcy very often ask, “Is that all there is to it?” on the day of a 341 creditors’ meeting.
A Hearing, Not A Trial
For most bankruptcy filers, the only meeting with a government official is a 341 hearing, not a trial. The official presiding is a bankruptcy trustee, not a judge. The appearance of the room where this administrative hearing takes place may vary, but it is not normally a traditional courtroom.
What Is The 341 Creditors’ Meeting?
Several weeks after you file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you and your attorney will attend a 341 creditors’ meeting. At this meeting, a bankruptcy trustee will ask you a few questions. He or she may ask for further documentation or explanations. Creditors are allowed to attend — hence the term “creditors’ meeting” — but in fact, creditors rarely show up.
At your 341 creditors’ meeting, the trustee is likely to meet with you in a consultative manner, perhaps standing or sitting at a table, not standing at a podium with a gavel. The nightmarish vision of a bankruptcy court and a bankruptcy judge, in an atmosphere of fear, is far from what actually transpires.
If Ben Sissman, Attorney at Law, is your law firm when you file bankruptcy, you can rest-assured that I will help you face your 341 creditors’ meeting with confidence. I will advise you carefully on what to bring to the hearing. I will meet with you beforehand, as well as accompany you at the hearing. You will answer questions of the trustee, but I will be there to speak on your behalf if any complications arise.
In rare instances, bankruptcy filers may be asked to return to meet with the trustee again, but this is the exception rather than the rule.
Chapter 13 Confirmation Hearing — Not A Trial
In the case of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, there will be an additional meeting known as a confirmation hearing. The confirmation hearing may involve a judge, and the debtor may need to appear. However, it is not a trial. The bankruptcy court will confirm your repayment plan at this hearing if you have filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If Ben Sissman, Attorney at Law, represents you, you can expect to be well-informed and receive helpful, intelligent advice and representation through the confirmation hearing, as well as in the 341 creditors’ meeting.
Free Initial Consultation | Experienced Memphis Bankruptcy Attorney
Call 901-730-4958 or send an email to schedule a meeting consultation with a Tennessee bankruptcy lawyer. Ask any question on your mind, such as, “Will I have to go to court?” and “What will life be like after my bankruptcy is complete?”
The law office of Ben Sissman is a debt relief agency that helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.