Can a person file bankruptcy without ever going to court? If you file bankruptcy you are required to attend something called the meeting of creditors or Section 341 meeting. This is a proceeding at which the debtor testifies under oath that the information contained in their bankruptcy filing is accurate. In most jurisdictions the 341 meeting does not take place in the courthouse. It might be across the street at a nearby federal building or even at a public library. Your bankruptcy judge assigned to your case will not be at the hearing. A person called a trustee will preside over the meeting of creditors and your bankruptcy attorney will be there to guide you through the process. In most cases the hearing only last a short period of time.
In most Chapter 7 cases, the 341 meeting only lasts between 1:30 seconds to five minutes. During that time, the trustee will ask you a series of questions about your property, debts, and financial history. Some debtors will receive very few questions; others with more complicated cases may receive more. The key to success is being open and honest with your lawyer. Your attorney should take the time to brief you on the types of questions that you should expect given they types of assets and debts that you have.
Although the likelihood of a further court appearance is low, debtors must realize that filing for bankruptcy is more than just filling out some forms. A bankruptcy case can turn to litigation fairly quickly. Using an experienced Utah bankruptcy lawyer is advised to prevent problems down the road. Debtors may be required to appear in court when a trustee objects to one of their exemptions or the judge orders them to appear and show cause. In addition, an adversary proceeding will likely require a court appearance, as well.