One of the most common questions that we hear as bankruptcy attorneys is “Will I have to go to court?” Many people are filled with anxiety about going to court for any reason. They are frightened by the idea that they may be required to testify under oath in front of other people. Our attorneys understand this concern and we do everything within our power to help our clients overcome this fear so that they can get the assistance they need to solve their debt problems. Anxiety about attending a 341 Hearing should not prevent you from getting the debt relief that you need.
Your Bankruptcy 341 Hearing
When you file a bankruptcy petition, the court will schedule a 341 Hearing. Every debtor is required to attend a 341 Hearing and testify under oath regarding his or her finances. However, these hearings are not what most people assume a court hearing is, based on what they have seen on television or in the movies. Many 341 Hearings last less than 10 minutes. A bankruptcy trustee, not a bankruptcy judge, presides over the hearing.
The bankruptcy trustee questions the debtor about his or her assets, debts, income, and expenses. This information is provided in the bankruptcy forms that the debtor files with the court. Part of the trustee’s job is to question the debtor, under oath, to confirm the information the debtor provides to the court in addition to obtaining any additional information the trustee needs with regard to the bankruptcy filing.
Another purpose of the 341 Meeting is all creditors or other parties with an interest can ask the debtor questions. This does not mean that creditors can appear to harass, embarrass or berate the debtor. The questions must address the debt owed to the creditor. In most cases, creditors do not appear at a 341 Hearing.
I Do Not Feel Comfortable Testifying in Front of Others
Yes, there will be other people in the courtroom during your 341 Hearing but it is important to remember that they are there for the same reason you are. The people in the courtroom are typically other debtors waiting on their 341 Hearing, attorneys for debtors or creditors, and occasionally a creditor. The key is to remember that most of the people in the courtroom are debtors waiting on their 341 Hearing.
As your bankruptcy attorneys, we will prepare you for your 341 Hearing so that you feel as comfortable as possible. We will review the questions that the trustee will ask so that you are prepared to confidently answer the questions. In most cases, the trustee will not ask you any question that we have not already asked you at least once, while preparing your bankruptcy case. It is our goal to provide you with support and guidance throughout the bankruptcy process including your 341 Hearing.
Contact Our Office for a Consultation with an Experienced Illinois Bankruptcy Attorney
The attorneys of Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols represent individuals who need experienced bankruptcy attorneys. We help clients throughout McLean, Woodford, Tazewell, and Peoria counties by providing compassionate, competent legal services. Contact our office by calling 309-938-4838 to schedule your free bankruptcy consultation.
When you need the assistance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Central Illinois, call the knowledgeable and skilled attorneys of Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols. We are dedicated to giving our clients exceptional service and support throughout the bankruptcy process.