I am asked this question by many of my clients during our initial bankruptcy consultation. For many individuals, filing a bankruptcy will be the first time they are required to be inside a courtroom other than possibly as a juror. It is natural to be nervous when you consider the possibility of appearing before a bankruptcy judge. There is nothing to be frightened of because the bankruptcy judge is not there to interrogate you or pass judgment upon you because you needed the assistance of the bankruptcy court to overcome your financial crisis.
When Will I See the Bankruptcy Judge in My Bankruptcy Case?
In most bankruptcy cases, the debtor will never be required to appear before a bankruptcy judge. Debtors, regardless of the chapter of bankruptcy filed, are required to appear in court for their First Meeting of Creditors, also known as the 341 Meeting. This meeting is not presided over by a bankruptcy judge. The bankruptcy trustee that is appointed to administer your bankruptcy case will be the person presiding over the 341 Meeting to ask you questions about your income, expenses, assets, debts and financial history.
For a Chapter 7 debtor, the First Meeting of Creditors is usually the only hearing that the debtor will be required to attend; therefore, the debtor never sees a bankruptcy judge. Chapter 13 debtors may or may not be required to attend other hearings such as a confirmation hearing or a hearing related to an objection to the plan. In most Chapter 13 cases, provided that the debtor makes his or her payments on time and circumstances do not require the filing of additional petitions, the debtor will not be required to appear before a bankruptcy judge during the Chapter 13 case.
The Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney
One of the main benefits of hiring an experienced bankruptcy attorney is having someone who is familiar with the bankruptcy system, the court, the judges and the trustees. While this does not guarantee no problems will arise in your bankruptcy case, it does mean that your attorney will have the experience and skill to handle anything that may arise in your case. It can also help reduce the number of times you are required to appear in court because your attorney has the experience necessary to see problems and settle them before they become issues for the court to address.
Contact an Experienced Mount Holly Bankruptcy Attorney
Personal Approach, Professional Service, Affordable Payment Plans
The Law Office of Travis J. Richards, LLC provides a full range of bankruptcy and debt relief services to companies and individuals in the Mount Holly area. The firm focuses solely on debt consolidation, credit repair, tax liens, student loans, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, and foreclosure. We represent clients in Burlington County and throughout South Jersey.
If you are experiencing financial problems due to debt, contact our office at 609-267-5297 to schedule your free consultation to discuss bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy alternatives. Contact one of our friendly, professional staff members via our online contact form to answer your bankruptcy questions and/or schedule a free consultation with Travis J. Richards.
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