Friday, September 30, 2016

What Types Of Questions Will The Court Have For Me When I File Bankruptcy?

Most people don’t go to Court every day, so the thought of having to answer questions in front of a judge is frightening. When the questions are related to your finances, and why you are not able to make your payments, the stress level that goes along with having to go to Court is escalated. These thoughts alone might cause some people to shy away from taking advantage of all of the benefits bankruptcy has to offer, and that is a shame. Because, if you are in over your head financially, bankruptcy is a very useful tool and can help you to get back on your feet with a fresh start to your budget. So, if you are considering bankruptcy but are worried about being questioned in the Courtroom or are hesitant to make a trip to the Courthouse, here are some useful things to know about how it all works.

When you file bankruptcy, you will have to go to Court shortly after your case is filed. The first time you go to Court is called the 341 meeting, and at this meeting you will need to be prepared for the following:

         To show your ID, so the trustee who has been assigned to oversee your case knows that the person who filed the case is the person who is showing up in Court.

         To provide proof of your income, which is done by providing copies of your pay stubs and recent tax returns. If you have not yet filed your tax return, do not worry, you can still do so and provide a copy to the trustee once it has been filed. But a word of caution, your case will not be finalized by the Court until past due tax returns are filed. If you are afraid you are going to owe taxes, now is the time to find out, because in bankruptcy you are restricting your monthly obligations and can be better positioned to make a payment plan with the taxing authorities.

         Tell your creditors if you plan to keep the collateral that their loan covers, or return it to the lender. If you decide to hang on to certain things, the lender will ask you if you plan to reaffirm the debt. This will be a decision you have made prior to coming to the 341 meeting, and your attorney will help you decide what is best for you.

That’s it! In a nutshell that is about all that takes place at a 341 meeting and the setting is pretty informal. There is no Judge and there are no judgments made about how your budget or why you are needing to file bankruptcy. Your attorney will prepare you for the meeting, and all told it will probably only last about half an hour once your name is called. .

For more information about bankruptcy, call us today or reach us online at We have multiple locations to serve you and can schedule a time to meet at the office most convenient for you.

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