happens in court when file bankruptcy

What Happens When I Go To Court For Bankruptcy?

Everyone who files for bankruptcy must appear in court one time for what is called a “meeting of creditors.”

The court will schedule the meeting of creditors for a date that is about 30-45 days after your case is filed. You will receive that notice shortly after you file your case. Although the meeting takes place at the bankruptcy court, it is not a court proceeding. It is simply a meeting presided over by a trustee who will ask you questions as may creditors who may also appear. Occasionally, the trustee will ask you to provide more documentation.

Unless you have a particularly complex case, the meeting generally takes just a few minutes. If you are represented by an attorney, your attorney will attend the meeting with you and assist you in answering any questions that you don’t understand. Having an attorney with you usually makes the process go much smoother and with less stress to you.

Here are some typical questions the trustee may ask:

  • Did you list all of your assets and debts in the schedules?
  • Are the schedules accurate?
  • Are you personally familiar with the information contained in the bankruptcy schedules?
  • Are you aware that there are other chapters of the bankruptcy code that you can file under?
  • Are you aware of the consequences of filing bankruptcy, particularly the effect it may have on future credit?
  • Are you reaffirming any debts in this bankruptcy and if so, are you aware that reaffirming a debt means that you will remain legally obligated on that debt?
  • Have you filed all of your tax returns?
  • Do you owe alimony, maintenance or child support? Are you current with your payments?
  • Have you transferred any property out of your name in the last two years?
  • Have you paid back any loans or transferred any property to family members?
  • Have you paid any creditor more than the regular monthly payment in the last 90 days?

If you own real estate or other valuable assets, the trustee may also ask how you arrived at the values of those assets.

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