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Do I Have To Go To Court When I File Bankruptcy?

Do I Have To Go To Court When I File Bankruptcy?

Do You Have to Go to Court For Bankruptcies?

In bankruptcy, you only need to go to court for two reasons: to file the bankruptcy forms and to attend the 341(a) Meeting of Creditors. If you are filing bankruptcy with an attorney they will take care of the filing. You will only go to court to attend the Meeting of Creditors. Your attorney may accompany you, however, it is not required. Note that the meeting does not involve appearing in front of a judge and will not even be in a courtroom!

Where Will My Hearing Be Held?

The location of your hearing depends on where you filed your bankruptcy.

  • If your case was filed with the Riverside Bankruptcy Office, your hearing will be held at the Trustee's office located at 3801 University Avenue Riverside, CA 92501
  • If your case was filed with the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Office, your hearing will be held on the 10th Floor, Suite 1050 at 915 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90017
  • If your case was filed with theSanta Ana Bankruptcy Office, your hearing will be held on the Third Floor at the Ronald Reagan Federal Building at:411 W. Fourth Street Santa Ana, CA 92701

How Long Does the Meeting Last?

The Hearing should last around 3-5 minutes. The Trustee has already reviewed your bankruptcy paperwork so he or she is already familiar with your case. The Hearing is just another opportunity for the Trustee to ask any follow-up questions and verify the paperwork.

What Happens at a Meeting of Creditors for Chapter 7?

The 341(a) Hearing is held around 30-35 days after your bankruptcy case is filed. At the Hearing, you will meet with the Trustee (usually an attorney or a CPA) who is automatically assigned to your case when it is filed. Your Hearing will take place in a large meeting room.

What Should I Bring?

You will be required to bring a valid photo ID andproof of your social security number. You will wait in the meeting room with other people who are waiting for their case to be called.

Documentation accepted for photo ID:

  • Driver's license
  • Passport, etc.

Documentation accepted for social security number:

  • Original social security card
  • W-2
  • Tax return, etc.

Read the Bankruptcy Handout

While you are waiting, you must read a short information handout about bankruptcy. During your hearing, the Trustee will ask you if you've read the handout, but he or she will not quiz you on it. Depending on which Trustee is assigned to your bankruptcy case, you might need to fill out a short, basic, one-page questionnaire as well.

Your Answers Must be Truthful

When your name and case is called, head to the front of the room and have a seat in front of the Trustee. If you have an attorney, your attorney will accompany you to the front of the room and sit next to you. Present the Trustee with your ID and social security number proof. The Trustee will then swear you in to tell the truth under penalty of perjury. Remember that your testimony and answers must be truthful. The Trustee will then begin a brief examination of you. You will be asked a series of basic yes/no questions.

This is a sample of questions:

  • Is the address stated on your bankruptcy paperwork correct and up to date?
  • Have you ever used another social security number?
  • Have you listed all of your assets?
  • Have you listed all of your debts?
  • Have you carefully reviewed the paperwork filed with the court?
  • Are there any errors, mistakes, or omissions in the paperwork?
  • Is the employment information listed in your paperwork correct?
  • Do you owe any support obligations (child support, alimony, etc)?
  • Have you transferred any assets to family or friends within the past 4 years?

What Happens After the Meeting of Creditors for Chapter 7?

After the hearing, if there are no outstanding issues to be resolved, your official discharge will be entered in about 60-75 days.

As you can see, the hearing should not be too stressful. We are experienced bankruptcy lawyers located in Rancho Cucamonga. We have filed hundreds of chapter 7 bankruptcy cases and have gone to the 341(a) Hearing with all of our clients. We have had every single one of our bankruptcy filings is successfully discharged. If you have any questions about the Hearing or the bankruptcy process, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation at (888) 836-2396.

Reach out to Atlantis Law Firm for a free review with a bankruptcy lawyer. Call (888) 836-2396
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