Do I Have To Appear In Court If I File Bankruptcy?

For both bankruptcy chapters – chapter 7 and chapter 13 – you do have to go to court. But you are not going alone. And going to court isn’t as scary as it seems. When you do go to court the attorney will be with you.

341 Meeting of Creditors

The hearing that occurs in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 is called a 341 Meeting of Creditors. We also call it a 341 hearing or just a 341. Despite the name, creditors rarely attend this hearing. 

During COVID-19 these hearings are taking place over zoom.

Typically you go to the bankruptcy court and will meet with the attorney for a few minutes to go over the questions the trustee will ask. Your case is called according to your hearing time and you will go into the trustee’s hearing room with everyone else for that hour. Then the trustee goes through their stack of cases and your turn depends on where your file is in their stack. 

The trustee is going to verify that you are you, your reason for filing bankruptcy, that the information in the bankruptcy documents is accurate, your social security number is correctly reported in the documents, and that you did sign the documents. Some Trustees ask more questions, some ask less. 

Chapter 13 Confirmation Hearing

Chapter 13 cases have a second hearing called a confirmation hearing. This takes place a few months after the 341. You will have been making plan payments to the trustee. The confirmation hearing takes place with you, the attorney, the trustee, and the judge. This hearing is where the judge decides to confirm, or approve, your plan. 

Your hearing may be adjourned if the trustee has objections to the plan that have not been resolved by the date of your confirmation hearing. 

It is also possible for your case to be confirmed without a hearing taking place. This is called ‘fast tracked’ or ‘3015’. This occurs when all the parties – the attorney, trustee, and a possible objecting creditor, agree to the Order Confirming Plan before the Confirmation Hearing or Adjourned Confirmation Hearing and that Order is submitted to the judge for their approval. The judge then enters the Order and your case is confirmed. 

For help feel free to contact Detroit bankruptcy attorney Lyle Lieberman (248) 439-0440