Filing for bankruptcy requires you to show up in court for the meeting of the creditors. As a consumer, you may find this daunting. However, the truth is that bankruptcy court is straightforward and rarely intimidating, particularly if you have a top-rated bankruptcy lawyer by your side. If you have a fear of going to court, don’t let this hold you back from filing for bankruptcy. Your lawyer will help you file for financial relief if you need and you will be in court to finally get out from under your debts.
What to Expect at the Meeting of Creditors?
You need to attend the Section 341 Meeting or the meeting of creditors as a debtor. You will testify under oath that all of the information you provided in your bankruptcy statements is true and accurate. A court trustee will preside over the case. They will review the paperwork your attorney files and create a list of questions based on it.
During the 341 meetings, your lawyer can come with you to field the questions and ensure nothing inappropriate is asked of you. Also, the hearing will verify your income and administer your assets. You will hear what assets qualify for an exemption and which are being sold to repay debts.
Appearing in Court Outside of the 341 Meetings
Although this is rare, you may need to appear in actual bankruptcy court if your case turns into a matter of litigation. The trustee may object to findings and exemptions and propose to the judge they rule on the issue. Also, appearing in a court outside of the meeting of creditors may happen if you have any adversary proceedings. This may occur if the trustee suspects you moved assets or funds around before you filed for bankruptcy. In addition, a creditor might request that a debt not be discharged. This will require you to appear in court while the judge hears the pleas of the creditor.
The Importance of Having Legal Representation
When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will appear in court at least once. But, you have nothing to worry about, especially if you have a lawyer. They will advise you of your rights and discuss what you can say to the questions of the trustee. And your lawyer will still be with you if you should appear in a court outside of the 341 hearing. You will even have peace of mind if you hire a lawyer with experience handling objections because they are prepared to represent you in court.