While other larger bankruptcy cases in Detroit and Stockton seem to be moving along, Reuters reports the bankruptcy judge in the San Bernardino bankruptcy case has complained about the inability of the city and their largest creditor California Public Employees’ Retirement System (Calpers) to come to an agreement.
A hearing in a court of law is an official scheduled court proceeding that can range in purposes from simply collecting factual information all the way up to rendering summary judgments without trial but often accompanied by court orders. Sworn testimony can be used in these normally informal proceedings to expedite the process of law.
In the case of the Creditor Hearing in a bankruptcy, also commonly called the 341 Meeting or the First Creditor’s Meeting, the sworn testimony of the debtor is used to give an opportunity for the creditors and court trustee to ask the filing debtor any questions they may have about his or her financial condition and bankruptcy petition. The purpose of this informal hearing is a fact gathering adventure.
The filing debtor is required to attend this meeting if they want a successful bankruptcy. Failure to attend the meeting could result in legal consequences.
The Creditor’s hearing is a common part of all bankruptcies. The 341 meeting is required by bankruptcy law under Title 11, Chapter 3, Section 343. Under this section, the law states, “The debtor shall appear and submit to examination under oath at the meeting of creditors under section 341 (a) of this title. Creditors, any indenture trustee, any trustee or examiner in the case, or the United States trustee may examine the debtor. The United States trustee may administer the oath required under this section.”
Also under federal law, the 341 meeting is a part of the total cost of filing for bankruptcy. When you pay your filing fee, there is no extra charge by the bankruptcy court for the 341 meeting. The hearing is a part of the bankruptcy process.
If you retain a bankruptcy lawyer to help you with your bankruptcy, he or she may or may not be required to attend the Creditor’s hearing. Some states like Massachusetts require the attorney to attend the meeting, otherwise, the attorneys are deemed to have NOT represented the debtors. In other states, you may save the expense of your attorney accompanying you to the meeting. In any case, that is something you might want to discuss with your attorney before you retain them.
In most cases, it is rare for the creditors to attend the Creditor’s Hearing. It costs them money to be represented at the hearing, and unless there is a special need, they will not want to expend their resources.
The Creditor Hearing is usually a simple process taking between 3 and 5 minutes. You as the debtor will be sworn in by the bankruptcy court trustee, and the trustee usually asks a few basic questions of you that require a simple yes and no answer.
If you have a lawyer, your lawyer most likely will already know whether there will be any rare complicating questions that might arise at the 341 meeting. If there are any legal questions creditors have about the debts owed, they are addressed through a different format and are not addressed at this meeting.
Bankruptcy laws can be complicated, and common sense indicates you might need a bankruptcy lawyer in order to help you understand how these complex laws may apply in your particular situation.
If you determine you are in need of relief from the stress associated with debt and you live in or around the metropolitan areas of Riverside or San Bernardino, California, contact us here today at www.bankruptcyhome.com . We will help you find a bankruptcy attorney in your area that will help you with any questions you may have on bankruptcy law.