Wednesday, September 7, 2011

FAQ #14: Do I have to go to court?

Whether you will need to go in front of a Judge largely depends on how complex your case is. In every bankruptcy case, though, you must attend the Meeting of Your Creditors (often referred to as a §341(a) Creditor's Meeting, in reference to the section of the Bankruptcy Code requiring such a meeting) about 30 to 45 days after your bankruptcy petition is filed.

The court-appointed Chapter 7 trustee will preside over this meeting. At the meeting, you will be asked to testify under oath as to the accuracy of the statements in your petition. However, most of your creditors will not appear at the meeting, and you will not be before a judge. The meeting is very informal, and in most cases will last no more than 10 minutes. If you do not attend the meeting, your case will be dismissed.

If the trustee or your creditors file objections to your claimed exemptions, or other issues are raised by a creditor or interested party, a hearing will be held in front of the Bankruptcy Court Judge, and you may be required to attend.

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