Many of my clients get anxious when they learn that they have to appear in court. They imagine an inquisition in front of a judge with creditors berating them.
The 341 Meeting of Creditors are usually a snooze if you hired an experienced bankruptcy attorney to represent you and you answered your attorney's questions honestly and disclosed all relevant facts.
In a typical consumer bankruptcy like Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, the only documents that you need to bring with you at the Sacramento Bankruptcy Court or Modesto Bankruptcy Court is your driver's license and social security card.
Ask your bankruptcy attorney for some examples of questions your bankruptcy trustee will ask you in court.
When answering questions, keep these basic rules in mind:
1. Listen to the entire question. Do not cut off the trustee. Be patient and listen to the entire question. Make sure your answer is on point and does not drift off into another subject matter.
2. Be honest. You are under oath when you are answering questions asked in court. You must answer truthfully to get a bankruptcy discharge. You are subject to the penalties of perjury if you lie or omit relevant information.
3. Your answer should be brief and to the point. If the trustee asks a yes or no question, keep your answer yes or no unless you need to validate your answer. Your attorney should prep you on sample questions before your court hearing. If the trustee cares to know more, he or she will ask for the details. Sometimes, rambling or talking off topic can get you into trouble.
4. Don't answer a question you don't understand. The 341 Meeting of Creditors is recorded, so you do not want to answer a question on a guess. Ask your bankruptcy attorney or the trustee to rephrase or clarify the question.
5. Relax. You are well prepared if you provided your attorney with all information he or she requested and your attorney went over sample questions before your 341 Meeting of Creditors.