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Filing for bankruptcy isn’t an easy decision for anyone. Even after you’ve decided that it’s your best course of action, you’re sure to have questions. As you sit down with your bankruptcy attorney, you can discuss the ins and outs of the bankruptcy process. One of the major questions that clients have, however, is whether they will have to appear in court. The answer is not a simple yes or no.
Does Every Bankruptcy Go to Court?
The vast majority of bankruptcy cases do not go to court. In fact, the one appearance you have to make won’t be in front of a judge. Instead, you have to attend the 341(a) Meeting of Creditors. This is not in a courtroom, but instead in a large meeting room. The date occurs about 30 days after you file for bankruptcy. This is where you and your attorney sit down with the trustee and any representatives of creditors that choose to attend the meeting. The trustee will ask you a variety of interview questions and if any creditors are present, they may ask questions.
The process takes a very short time. You may be finished with the meeting in as few as 10 minutes. Once you’re finished, you usually do not have to deal with the courts again. You can now wait to hear back about whether or not your debts were discharged. Your bankruptcy approval should come within a week.
Will You Need to Meet a Judge?
Normally, you never have to face a judge during a bankruptcy case. The only time that you may need to go to court is if your trustee objects and accuses you of fraud. If this happens, then you may have to deal with an adversary proceeding. These are a lot like other lawsuits, except that they enter the court system quickly. Odds are, however, you will not have to experience a traditional courtroom while filing for bankruptcy. If you do, your lawyer can walk you through every step of the process.
When it comes to filing bankruptcy, you don’t have to be afraid of standing before a judge or arguing your case in front of a courtroom. Normally, none of this takes place during bankruptcy proceedings. Of course, if anything unexpected happens, it’s better to have a bankruptcy lawyer at your side. He or she will be able to navigate the system for you so that you don’t have to.