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Bankruptcy Law Blog

Monday, June 17, 2019

Do I Have To Go To Court If I File For Bankruptcy?

One of the frustrating things about filing for bankruptcy is that in addition to being emotionally draining, it is time consuming. Filers must often take time off of work to sort things out. 

If you don’t live near the bankruptcy courthouses in Montgomery, Opelika, or Dothan, you may also be concerned about how often you will have to drive to court and wait around all day for your case to be called. 

What takes up so much time?

Using the words “filing” or “declaring” when describing the bankruptcy process hides the fact that bankruptcy is not a simple, one-step process. 

You must spend time gathering all the documents you need, attend credit counseling approved by an Alabama bankruptcy administrator, and meet with your attorney. All of these things can be done in the evening, or on weekends, so you won’t necessarily need to take off work to check these items off your to-do list. You may, however, need to appear in court, which is only open during normal business hours. 

Order in the court!

If the idea of appearing in court has you terrified, don’t panic. Very few debtors actually go to a courthouse and appear before a judge. In most cases, the only time you will be required to meet with a court official is at a meeting known as a 341 hearing. 

During your 341 hearing, which is also known as the Meeting of Creditors, you will testify under oath that the information in your bankruptcy petition is correct. The court official conducting the meeting is not a judge, and the meeting may be held at the courthouse, or in another location. 

The court official will ask you basic questions like:

  • Have you listed all of your assets?
  • Have you listed all of your debts?
  • Have you carefully reviewed the paperwork filed with the court?
  • Are there any errors, mistakes, or omissions in the paperwork?
  • Is the address stated on your bankruptcy paperwork correct and up to date?
  • Is the employment information listed in your paperwork correct?
  • Have you transferred any assets to family or friends within the past 4 years?

As long as you have been truthful when filling out your paperwork, you should breeze through the meeting in about five minutes. 

Your creditors may also attend this meeting. If a creditor thinks that you are being dishonest, or wants to dispute a claim you have made, you may then be required to appear in court. This rarely happens.

Let your attorney be your guide. 

One of the ways to minimize the amount of time you spend worrying about your bankruptcy filing and the 341 meeting is to hire an experienced bankruptcy attorney to assist you through the entire process. 

Our team of attorneys have handled hundreds of bankruptcy cases. We know how to get a case through the system as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you want an experienced attorney at your side, please contact our office in Mobile to schedule a free initial consultation.


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Padgett and Robertson assist clients with Bankruptcy, Personal Bankruptcy, Consumer Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and The New Bankruptcy Law in Mobile, Alabama and throughout southern Alabama. Alabama State Bar Association Regulations require the following: "No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers." 11 U.S.C. 528 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code requires the following: "We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.”



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Alabama State Bar Association Regulations require the following: "No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers." 11 U.S.C. 528 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code requires the following: "We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.”