Many people are intimidated by the legal system – at least the one portrayed in movies and T.V. legal dramas – speaking in front of a judge, being sworn in, appealing to a jury, facing your creditors. But in the case of bankruptcy, rest assured, you rarely have to go to court.
Instead of going to court, debtors in bankruptcy (those filing bankruptcy) must attend what is called a “first meeting of creditors” or “341 hearing.” This is an informal conference usually held about 4-6 weeks after the filing of the bankruptcy. In Charlotte, North Carolina, those hearings are not held in a courtroom, but instead in an office, where there is no judge or jury.
The trustee assigned by the court to administer the case will conduct the 341 hearing. Trustees are usually attorneys or accountants by profession and help oversee the meeting. If there is no trustee (as is the case in many Chapter 11 bankruptcies), someone from the Bankruptcy Administrator’s office conducts the hearing. Creditors are invited to attend and ask questions; however it is rare for creditors to decide to attend.
Although rare, it is possible that a debtor may have to attend a hearing in a courtroom before a bankruptcy judge, however the majority of debtors in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases never go to court.
A consultation with a bankruptcy attorney can help further answer this and other important questions. If you would like assistance with determining the best plan for you, we’re here to help. Simply click here or call (704) 377-4300 to speak to a member of our bankruptcy team.
We are a debt relief agency helping people file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code.
Disclaimer: We are attorneys, but we are not your attorneys and this article does not create an attorney-client relationship. The information in this blog post is provided for general information purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this blog post should be construed or seen as legal advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter.