If I file for bankruptcy, will I have to go to court? This query is often given to this Highwood bankruptcy lawyer. If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are going to have to appear at a 341 Meeting of Creditors. This 341 Meeting is often referred to as the court date, however it is not typically held in a courthouse and it is not held in front of a judge. A trustee appointed on behalf of your case will be the one who will be examining you under oath, asking questions based on the documents that were filed in your case.
At this meeting, you will have to bring a photo ID and proof of your Social Security card. You should arrive approximately 15 minutes early so that you can meet with your attorney and so your attorney will have an opportunity to prepare you for the types of questions that are going to be asked. This applies to every Illinois bankruptcy case.
So whether it’s a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13, you will have to appear in front of a trustee to answer questions based on the documents filed in your case. You do not have to consider this a court date per se, you are not going to take a witness stand and appear before a judge inside of a crowded courtroom. You will however, have to take an oath to tell the truth but it will be in a small room with either one or two people presence; the trustee, you and your attorney and any creditors who wish to appear.
The court date or meeting date is nothing that you need to be alarmed about. Your bankruptcy lawyer is going to advise you of the type of questions that you are going to be asked. The attorney is going to comfort you and let you know that the information in your petition is true and accurate and the attorney will go over some of the highlights. For example, if you have real estate, the trustee is going to ask you about the value of your real estate, how you came to that value in the real estate and what the house is worth compared to other houses in your market. If you have a vehicle, the trustee may ask you if the vehicle is in good condition. Has the vehicle had any major repairs? Has the vehicle had any major upgrades or enhancements? If you are working, the trustee is going to scrutinize your income and your expenses to make sure that you don’t have the ability to repay your debt under bankruptcy Chapter 13 if you are seeking a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.
The trustee will also ask a series of questions regarding property. The trustee wants to know did you give or sell any property within the last two years. Did you own a business within the last two years? Have you sold any real estate in the last four years? Do you have a safety deposit box? Are you holding any property for someone else? Do you have the ability to sue anybody? And do you expect to inherit any money in the next six months?These are some of the questions that the trustee is going to ask you at your 341 Meeting of Creditors. Your attorney will make you feel comfortable in advance so that you will be able to handle these questions and proceed through the meeting in a smooth fashion. A good attorney will help you in your journey through the bankruptcy process.