Do I have to go to court for bankruptcy? 31 Answers as of July 10, 2013

I don't want to go to court, I'm scared I will get really nervous and the judge will think I am lying. Do I have to go?

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Dan Shay Law
Dan Shay Law | Daniel Shay
Yes, you will not receive a discharge unless you go to your 341 hearing it is really not a big deal no need to be scared.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/14/2011
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
You are required to appear personally to the 341 Meeting.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/4/2013
Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C.
Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C. | J. Thomas Black
Yes, everyone that files a bankruptcy is required to attend a Sec. 341(a) Meeting of Creditors. Here in Houston, it is in the courthouse, but not actually in a courtroom. You meet with your Trustee, not the judge. The bankruptcy judges only resolve disputes. Creditors may also attend the Sec. 341(a) Meeting of Creditors, but if you have a typical consumer case, typically they do not.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 7/11/2011
Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
Why would the judge think you're lying? If you are, s/he might know; most people aren't, and the officials know that, too. In Alexandria, the meeting is at the Trustee's office, not in court, and in any jurisdiction you meet with the trustee, not a judge.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 7/11/2011
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
Under section 341 of the bankruptcy code there is a requirement to attend a meeting of creditors. This is not a court hearing and the bankruptcy judge is not allowed to attend.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/11/2011
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC | Theodore N. Stapleton
    You only have to go to an administrative hearing with the Trustee and bunch of other folks who have filed BK.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Lakelaw - Loop Bankruptcy
    Lakelaw - Loop Bankruptcy | David Leibowitz
    Most people who file for bankruptcy never go before a judge. You will have one meeting with a trustee and then you're done.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    California's Largest Family of Attorneys
    California's Largest Family of Attorneys | Doan Law Firm
    If it is a Chapter 7, most likely you will not appear in front of a judge but a TRUSTEE, who is not a judge. It is very, very quick. 1 - 3 minutes at most.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Law Office of Dennis Jay Sargent Jr, PLLC
    Law Office of Dennis Jay Sargent Jr, PLLC | Dennis J Sargent Jr.
    It depends on you consider court. In most cases, debtors do not have to go to traditional court. However, a court type proceeding before the bankruptcy trustee is required. It is nothing to fear. The individual debtors, with their attorney, go before the trustee and show their ID and answer a few simple questions, usually relating to personal knowledge and information included in their petition. Generally, the whole process takes about 5 minutes, so long as everything was filled out correctly. Your attorney should prep you beforehand to help reduce the anxiety that you feel.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Sentinel Law P.A.
    Sentinel Law P.A. | Joshua Cossey
    Normally, depending on the type of bankruptcy you file (chapters 7,11,13), you only have to attend the meeting or the creditors or "341" hearing. This is where the Trustee will ask you a set of question and the lawyer who files the bankruptcy for you will be sitting next to you.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    The Law Offices of Alan M. Laskin
    The Law Offices of Alan M. Laskin | Jared B. Gaynor
    You are required by the Bankruptcy Code to be examined under oath by the Standing Trustee in your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    The Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm
    The Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm | Thomas A McAvity
    You will have to attend a meeting of the creditors with a trustee but it is not in courtroom and there will be no judge in a black robe shaking her finger at you.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/10/2013
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    You do not generally have to go to court and appear before a judge. There is a meeting of creditors where you have to go and answer questions from the trustee (an attorney or their representative). Most clients are nervous and a little scared because it is not something they are used to doing. But generally I get a hug after the 2-3 minute hearing is over and the client tells me "that is it?" you said not to stress and you really meant it. Just tell the truth and you'll be in and out in no time.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
    Every debtor in every bankruptcy proceeding must be examined under oath. In Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases, this examination is conducted by a Trustee. The trustee is usually an attorney or CPA who is appointed by the Office of the United States Trustee to oversee the case, and, if possible, to find and liquidate assets for the benefit of creditors. The Trustee is not a judge. Most Chapter 7 debtors never have to go to Court and never see the judge unless there is a Motion or Adversary Proceeding filed in their case. All Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 debtors must go to Court and see the judge. The best way to prepare for your examination is to be prepared by experienced bankruptcy counsel. This is the best way to handle all bankruptcy matters.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    Yes you must go to a 341 meeting which really is not court but is similar to court. If your paperwork is in order your appearance at this hearing will be a breeze.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    You have to go to a meeting of creditors where a Trustee (not a judge) will ask you a few questions. You will be questioned for probably five minutes at the most unless you have a business or other more complicated case. It is not a courtroom but a large meeting room with chairs and a table and the creditors almost never show up. No need to worry if anyone thinks you are not telling the truth if you answer the questions truthfully. Although every once in a while I run into a nasty Trustee, that is a very rare exception. Almost all of them are nice, compassionate professionals who are very familiar with what you are going through and know that is is your legal right to file for bankruptcy if you honestly cannot afford to pay your creditors.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    All Debtors are required by law to attend a meeting of creditors.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Law Offices of Michael T. Krueger
    Law Offices of Michael T. Krueger | Michael Krueger
    You do not have to go in front of a judge in bankruptcy in most cases. You do, however, have to appear before a trustee at a 341 meeting where the trustee will require you to show your social security card and drivers' license. The trustee will then ask if everything in your petition is accurate. The trustee can ask anything relevant to your case, but most likely the trustee asks where you currently live, your living situation, if you have performed on your intentions with your property. If you have any difficulty with this you should hire an experienced bankruptcy attorney admitted in your district. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    That depends on what chapter you're filing and whether you're representing yourself or not. If you have an attorney and are filing a Chapter 7, the only thing you have to "appear" at is the Trustee's Meeting which is very simple. Unless you are hiding something, the questions are very easy to answer and if your attorney has done his/her job properly, it shouldn't take more than a minute or two.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Tucker Legal Clinic
    Tucker Legal Clinic | Samuel Tucker
    Usually you will not have to go to court. You will have to attend an administrative hearing with the case trustee - the "341" hearing- which is relatively informal.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Law Office of J. Scott Logan, LLC
    Law Office of J. Scott Logan, LLC | John Scott Logan
    You must attend a meeting of creditors before a court appointed trustee.
    Answer Applies to: Maine
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    All bankruptcies require one or more court appearances. If you fail to attend your case will be dismissed. Even worse, if your failure causes the trustee to think you did something wrong, you could suffer other consequences. This is why you need a lawyer. If you made the mistake of filing pro se, your hearing or hearings will tend to go badly and take longer. If you have a lawyer, you will be asked fewer questions and the lawyer may in some (not all) cases speak for you. The other big advantage to a lawyer is that he will know your trustee, can get that trustee things in advance, and also coach you. So if you made the mistake of filing pro se, get a lawyer before your hearing and you will sleep better. You are also more likely of actually succeeding in your case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC | Richard James Symmes
    You need to go to court one time when filing bankruptcy. The meeting is called the 341 meeting of creditors with the trustee.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    You must go one time to see a trustee. It is not horrible. There is a video of a sample hearing on my Web site: janet-lawson-bankruptcy.com. The video was prepared by the Office of the United States Trustee. You can find it on You tube as well.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Law Office of Asaph Abrams
    Law Office of Asaph Abrams | Asaph Abrams
    Most often no court appearances are required and your sole appearance is in front of an official called a trustee. He or she should understand that you are nervous. Part of the purpose of representation is the confidence you'll have from having competent counsel on your side.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    In most cases, you do not have a court hearing with a judge when you file for bankruptcy. You do have to meet with the bankruptcy trustee and answer some questions about your income and assets. The questions are basic and the meeting usually lasts less than ten minutes. It is mandatory if you want a bankruptcy discharge.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Law Office of Eric Ridley
    Law Office of Eric Ridley | Eric Ridley
    Yes. Depending on which Chapter you choose to file (7 or 13), you will likely only have to appear at what is called a "Section 341" hearing. This is a simple event, which usually lasts no longer than about 10 minutes, in which the Trustee can ask you questions, and any of your creditors can appear to ask you question. It's informal, and most of the time no creditors appear at all.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Loveless Law Firm, LLP
    Loveless Law Firm, LLP | Andrea Loveless
    Yes, you must personally appear at the 341(a) Meeting of Creditors. You can do an internet search for 341(a) Meeting of Creditors and get all the details. It is nothing to be scared of. Thank you!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    You have to go. But, you go in front of the Trustee - in most cases you will not ever see the judge. And the hearing before the trustee is easy. After you watch the first four or five, your nerves will give way to boredom while you wait for your turn. Bring a magazine.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    At least once but if you are truthful the process is very quick and painless. Nothing to fear when going with good counsel.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/8/2011
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