Yes, you must attend at least one mandatory hearing called the Meeting of Creditors hearing. The hearing is usually held about 45 days after your bankruptcy petition is filed with the court. This hearing is designed to give your creditors an opportunity to examine you under oath regarding the information that you provided in your bankruptcy petition. Most of the time, creditors do not even show up to this hearing so you are left with the Trustee, Bankruptcy Administrator or their representatives asking you questions about your petition.
This hearing seems to be the most worrisome for most clients because they do not know what to expect or what questions will be asked of them. The majority of the time this hearing will run smoothly and without complications assuming you tell the truth on the stand. You will be under oath and it is essential that you answer all questions truthfully.
You will be at the hearing anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour; it all depends on where you are positioned on the docket and when you are called to testify. Your attorney or their representative will be present at the hearing on your behalf to answer any of your questions. In addition to your attorney, there usually will be other attorneys and their clients in the hearing room as well.
You should expect to have to go through security to get into the hearing room since the hearings are usually held at a Federal Courthouse. You will have to have a valid picture identification card with you (i.e., driver’s license). You will not be allowed to carry a cell phone with you into your hearing so you should leave them at home or safe in your vehicle. You should dress comfortably with very little jewelry since you will be required to take the jewelry off to get through security. Do not wear any hats into the hearing. Your attorney will let you know about any additional items you may need to bring to your hearing.
Just remember, you are not alone at these hearings. A Bond & Botes attorney will be there with you to help you through this hearing.