When will you have to go to court?
Your court appearance occurs about 30 days after filing. We will be notified of the date for the “Meeting of the Creditors” (also known as the 341 hearing) soon after I file your petition. This meeting will occur 3-5 weeks after I file your petition.
This meeting of the creditors will be in the Federal courthouse, but is not held in a formal courtroom. Creditors do not commonly appear at the meeting of the creditors. They rely on the trustee to question the debtor.
The meeting of the creditors is intended to give the trustee and interested creditors the opportunity to examine you under oath about your petition and schedules. You must attend this hearing, and you will be subject to questions from the Trustee.
After the meeting, your creditors will have a period of time to object to discharge of the debts you owe. I will be with you at the court hearing, and I will help you understand the process step-by-step. If you are a Chapter 7 debtor, you will most likely appear in court only for the meeting of the creditors.
If you are a Chapter 13 debtor, our work is not finished with the meeting of the creditors. We proceed to the Confirmation of the Chapter 13 Plan, which typically occurs a month or so after the meeting of the creditors. You may appear at the Plan Confirmation hearing to resolve outstanding objections filed by the trustee and/or creditors, but you will not actually be in front of the judge unless there is an issue that cannot be resolved.
Without help, the court environment can be extremely intimidating to debtors, and that is another reason why you hire me. I will prepare you for each of our appearances. I will always be there with you, and I will always explain the things that occur in court.