Do I have to Go to Court When I File for Bankruptcy?
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, then you must attend a meeting of creditors with your bankruptcy lawyer if you have one as well as a bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case. If you are a debtor in a bankruptcy case, you can relax as your attorney will tell you, you most likely have nothing to worry about. Most bankruptcy court meetings will take less than 5 minutes to conduct as long as you have no assets which can be taken by a bankruptcy trustee. This will be determined by whether you have any assets that are worth more than the allowable bankruptcy exemptions. Usually the meetings are conducted with several other debtors in the room and each person is called up to meet with the bankruptcy trustee one at a time. Therefore, you may be at the court house for over an hour, but your time with the trustee will be limited.
There are only a few situations in which you may want to worry about attending your 341 meeting of creditors. These situations usually involve lying, operating a business, being involved in a divorce or other more complicated matters that involve potential non exempt assets.
1. If you lied on your bankruptcy petition or made other false statements you may be in jeopardy of losing your right to a bankruptcy discharge. The state bankruptcy Trustee and U.S. Trustee handle several cases a year and cases that raise concerns will be scrutinized closely.
2. If you run your own business you will have to produce proof of income as well as list all business assets. In these situations debtor may be trying to discharge more debt and creditors may be more savvy and comfortable with the bankruptcy process.
3. If you are involved in a divorce your ex-spouse may want to point out missing information or may own partial ownership of some assets that are available to be sold by a bankruptcy trustee.
In most cases creditors do not show up to the meeting but it is certainly possible. Also people who need translators can slow down the process and cause you to wait longer for your turn in court.
At the meeting the bankruptcy trustee will verify your identity (driver’s license and social security card or W2), and then they will confirm (under oath) that all of the information provided in the bankruptcy schedules is true and correct, that you listed all of your assets and all of your debts. You may also be asked why you filed for bankruptcy. Depending on the details of your case, you may also be asked additional questions about your property, a business, your job, etc.
If you have additional questions regarding your bankruptcy court meeting give Symmes Law Group a call today at 206-682-7975