Every time a bankruptcy is filed, a corresponding bankruptcy hearing is set. This hearing is commonly called the “Meeting of Creditors” hearing, or the 341(a) hearing (which is the section of the bankruptcy code that establishes this mandatory hearing requirement). At this hearing, a bankruptcy trustee will ask a series of questions (as described in an earlier post) of the debtor, and creditors have a chance to ask the debtor (the person who has filed bankruptcy) questions under oath, as well. Creditors, however, largely do not appear at this bankruptcy hearing, although they have the legal right to do so.
As soon as you file a bankruptcy, the bankruptcy hearing will be set – usually about 4-5 weeks out. This hearing is a court ordered hearing that the debtor must attend. There are certain reasons why a debtor may be able to have this bankruptcy hearing rescheduled, but the reasons are quite limited. These reasons are:
1. Medical Reasons: the debtor cannot attend due to medical reasons.
2. Incarcerated: the debtor cannot attend due to being imprisoned.
3. Deployed at War: the debtor cannot attend because he or she is deployed at war.
These are the three reasons listed in the Bankruptcy Code for changing the hearing date. There are some additional exceptions, in certain circumstances, as well.
Once a bankruptcy hearing is set, the debtor must attend the hearing, unless one of the above-reasons exist. If the debtor does not attend the hearing, the debtor’s bankruptcy case may be dismissed after the filing of a motion to dismiss by the Bankruptcy Trustee.
If you have any questions about bankruptcy in general, please feel free to call today to discuss your bankruptcy options.