What Happens at a Bankruptcy Hearing in Columbus Ohio?
Whether you file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, there will be a hearing that you will attend with your lawyer. That hearing is called a Meeting of Creditors. It is also referred to as a “341 Meeting” since that is the section of the Bankruptcy Code that authorizes the hearing.
The Meeting of Creditors is assigned at the time you file your case. You will receive a hearing notice from the court, and the meeting is usually held between 25 and 40 days after you file your bankruptcy case. Your creditors will also receive notice of your court date and they will have an opportunity to attend and ask you questions about their specific debt.
The Meeting of Creditors itself usually takes between ten and fifteen minutes. It begins with your bankruptcy trustee placing you under oath. The Trustee will begin by asking you a few questions. Your job is to simply answer them. The questions will cover the accuracy of the information in your bankruptcy statements, schedules, and related documents and the value of assets you owned or had a right to own at the time of your filing.
Tips for Preparing for a Meeting of Your Creditors:
1. Arrive early. Unlike most court hearings, a bankruptcy hearing can start right on time. Also make sure you go to right courthouse. In Columbus, this is NOT the same place that domestic, criminal, or probate court is held.
2. Answer audibly. They are taping the hearing, so you have to speak up. Do not shake your head or shrug your shoulders. Answer out loud.
3. Only answer the question the Trustee asks. Listen to the question and try to make sure your answer is narrowly tailored to the Trustee’s question.
4. Try to give short answers. If you can answer yes or no to every question, do it.
5. Don’t be afraid to answer “I don’t know.” The Trustee is not trying to trick you. DO NOT GUESS if you do not know an answer or do not understand a question.
6. Relax. If your lawyer did a good job, and you disclosed all your assets to the lawyer, the hearing should run smoothly. It is rare when a creditor shows up. Parking at the Courthouse should be the most challenging part of your hearing.
Contact an Experienced Columbus Bankruptcy Attorney
A bankruptcy can be a stressful event and making sure you have the right lawyer by your side can help relieve some of that stress. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, contact Columbus Bankruptcy Attorney Robert L. Caplan or call our office at (614) 252-2026 to schedule a free consultation. I have been helping people file bankruptcy in Central Ohio for more than 15 years, and I will work to help you find a fresh start.
I am a debt relief attorney. I help people and families file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code.