Many people are concerned that they must confront their creditors, who will ask them questions.
It is extremely unusual that any creditor will ask a debtor questions. The first hearing of a chapter 13, which is the only mandatory hearing of a chapter 7, is called a Meeting of Creditors, or a 341(a) hearing. Even though the name connotes a personal confrontation with your creditors, it is extremely unusual that any creditor appears at the hearing. In virtually every case, the only people who appear at the hearing is the debtor(s), their attorney and the trustee.
Typically, the only time a creditor will appear at the 341(a) hearing, is a creditor who is personally involved with the debtor, such as an ex spouse, ex business partner, individual landlord, or individual who lent the debtor money. In the unusual circumstance that a creditor appears at the hearing, the creditor is limited with the time he has to question the debtor. The court schedules the 341(a) hearings and allows very limited time for each hearing, as the trustee must call many other cases within a certain time period.
Although very unusual, every creditor has an opportunity to schedule a separate hearing, named a 2004 hearing, which is a deposition. The deposition in a bankruptcy case is generally held at an attorney’s office before a court reporter. Typically, a trustee is not present at this hearing.
Robert Manchel, an expert NJ bankruptcy lawyer, can be reached at (866) 503-5655 to discuss your options when filing for bankruptcy protection.