What should I know about the bankruptcy hearing?

After your bankruptcy is filed with the Court, a date and time for the Meeting of Creditors, commonly called the 341 hearing, will be set.You must appear at this hearing. If you file a joint case with your spouse, you both must attend. Failing to show up or properly prepare for your hearing will not buy you more time. If you are not present at the time of your hearing, your case will be dismissed, and you will have to either re-file at a future date or seek the Court's permission to have your case reinstated.

If you have filed your case without the assistance of a bankruptcy attorney, you will receive information about documents that must be provided to the trustee assigned to your case before your hearing. You must provide all the requested documents well in advance of your hearing. If you fail to provide the required documents, you will either have to attend a second hearing or your case could be dismissed. If you are represented by an attorney, they will normally have collected these documents or notified you of any additional documents that are required. 

You must go through security to enter the Federal Building in Norfolk. If your hearing is there, it is very important to arrive at least 30 minutes before the hearing time to allow sufficient time to get through security. You must bring a valid government issued photo ID to enter the Federal Building. If your hearing is in Newport News, you do not have to go through security to enter the hearing room.

You must also provide a photo ID at the hearing and proof of your social security number. Valid documents to prove your social security number are: Original Social Security Card, Medicaid or Medicare card with your full Social Security Number on it, a W2 or 1099 or a tax transcript from the IRS. A copy of your tax return is not acceptable. Be sure that that the document you want to use has your full Social Security Number on it. Many documents only list the last four of your number.

If you have any questions about your hearing, make sure to contact the paralegal assigned to your case. If you have tried to file without an attorney and you are struggling with how to handle your case, please call our office and ask about your options, and be sure to read Attorney Pfeiffer's book on the subject of filing without an attorney! 

Edrie Pfeiffer
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Edrie Pfeiffer, Bankruptcy & Divorce Attorney