Going to Court When Filing for Bankruptcy

Individuals who file for bankruptcy may not know what they are doing without the help of an attorney. If you’ve found yourself on the verge of bankruptcy, it might be your best solution to hire a bankruptcy lawyer. You’ll probably have a lot of questions that might include, “Do I have to go to court when filing for bankruptcy?” The following goes over the few times you’ll need to appear in a courthouse.

Filing the Paperwork

After you and your attorney have filled out the paperwork for your bankruptcy request, you’ll need to file it at the courthouse. You won’t actually attend a court session in front of a judge, but you will need to make a visit to the clerk’s office to file your paperwork. Some attorneys file for their clients, and if that’s how your attorney works, you may not need to make this first visit to the courthouse.

Your Meeting of the Creditors

Your trustee will schedule a Meeting of the Creditors of which you’ll need to attend. This meeting entails the trustee asking some questions to determine whether the information you have presented is accurate and correct. If the trustee believes you have been honest with your filing, he or she will approve the discharge. The meeting typically takes place in the courthouse, so this could be considered your second visit to court.

There’s a chance something will go wrong during this meeting, and that could require another visit to court. In most cases, as long as you’ve been honest, it will be a five-minute meeting and you’ll be done. In rare instances, a creditor’s lawyer might show up to the meeting to rebut what you have outlined in your filing, but that doesn’t happen very often. Most credit card companies and other creditors simply don’t have the time to attend these meetings, making it not worth their effort.

Going Before a Judge

When someone files for bankruptcy, he or she will not have to go before a judge. While this is a valid concern for someone who is worried about it, appearing before a judge will not be necessary. There is a possibility fraud or another crime will be discovered during the Meeting of the Creditors, and if that happens, criminal charges could be brought against you. That would require going before a judge, but if you have been honest to the best of your knowledge, you have nothing to worry about.

Hiring a Lawyer to Assist You

Bankruptcy can be difficult to handle, but a lawyer can help. Contact a bankruptcy lawyer today so you can hire someone to be on your side.