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What Happens in Bankruptcy Court?

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Going to court never sounds like an enjoyable experience, as it can be intimidating and unfamiliar to most people. If you have fallen behind on your debts, you might be concerned that a bankruptcy judge will come down hard on you for your financial hardships. The good news is that two things are true of most bankruptcy cases – you will likely never have to go to court and, if you do, the judge is not there to treat you harshly for your financial mistakes.

Most People Never Go to Court for Chapter 7 Cases

If you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there will be no reason for you to have to testify in court unless problems arise in your case. Most Chapter 7 cases are rather uneventful, and your attorney can handle any business before the judge.

The one appearance you will need to make in a Chapter 7 case is at your Meeting of Creditors, also called the 341 Meeting. However, this meeting takes place with the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case and does not involve the presence of a judge. While creditors are invited to attend, they rarely do so. Instead, the trustee will ask you questions about your bankruptcy petition and financial situation, and you can likely go on your way. While this might be the extent of your appearances in a Chapter 7 case, you still want the representation of an Indiana bankruptcy attorney for your Meeting of Creditors.

In a Chapter 13 Case

If you filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, one or more court appearances might be necessary. This is true if you need to have a confirmation hearing for your payment plan, or if you miss payments and the trustee calls a hearing for a possible dismissal. In these situations, your attorney will prepare you for what to expect in court and should appear with you to represent you.

Meeting with the Right Bankruptcy Lawyer

As an attorney will tell you, most bankruptcy filers do not have to go to court at all. However, it might be foreseeable that some hiccups might arise in your bankruptcy case. If you are open and honest with your attorney, they should be able to identify whether there is the potential for a court hearing.

Even if you have a court hearing as part of your bankruptcy process, you should not let it deter you from seeking the financial relief you need. Instead, rely on your legal representation to answer questions and relieve your fears about going before a judge.

Seek Help from a Northwest Indiana Bankruptcy Lawyer

At Whitten & Whitten, we handle all types of bankruptcy cases. Some are straightforward with no court appearances, while others are more complicated. Whatever your case entails, you can be sure we will handle every step of the process and represent your best interests and rights under the law. Contact us for a consultation about your options today.

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