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What Should I Expect to Happen at My Bankruptcy Trustee 341 Hearing? – Fran

“Dear Steve,

due to wife’s loss of job, unepmloyment benefits and medical care I accrued 40k in unsecured debt. I tried to settle with the credit card companies, when I had some savings they said they couldnt help me “you already have the best deal” even after i repeatedly warned thme that once I blow through my savings I can no longer pay them.
after i had no money the companies were willing to settle at a third

I am scheduled to appear in bankruptcy court on 5/29/12.

I have 2 questions:
first one of my debt is line of credit with my bank is it wise to move my direct deposit out
2 what should i expect on court day.
I have a hard time fighting parking ticket becuase court gives me the creeps, I never been in any legal trouble and this is driving me insane

Fran”

Dear Fran,

Is it an unsecured line of credit? Generally if you have any debt that may be included in bankruptcy with your current bank it’s better to switch banks. That’s not for any sneaky reason. It’s just to make sure you aren’t impacted by any administrative screw-ups on their end. If you didn’t switch the odds are that not much will happen.

Caveat – If you bank with a credit union, definitely move your account to a different credit union or bank.

On the day of your hearing you will sit in a hall or waiting room with a bunch of sullen looking people and wait for your name to be called. You will go up and sit at a table and the trustee will ask you to confirm your identity and ask questions about your filing and maybe confirm some details with you. It’s actually not a grilling or an attack about your decision to file bankruptcy.

The reality is the trustee who you will meet with just wants to check the facts and move to the next person in line so they can get out of there. The session will most likely be recorded by audio.

READ  What to Wear and Say at Your Bankruptcy Hearing

Below you will see a video that was put together by courts in North Carolina to give an indication of what it is like for people representing themselves at the trustee meeting. If you have wisely hired an attorney to represent you it will be a less intimidating experience and you will have legal representation sitting there next to you to assist you with any situations or questions that arise.

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If you just keep in mind this 341 meeting is simply a procedural hearing to ask some questions you’ve most likely dealt with already with your bankruptcy attorney.

A few weeks after the trustee meeting in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy you will receive your final notice of discharge in the mail. And that’s it.

The next step you should take is to immediately begin to rebuild your credit. You can use this free guide to do that.

The greatest stress or pressure you will feel is what you inflict on yourself. Nobody is going to be there to judge you or cast any blame on you. If you took the personal involvement out of the proceeding it would be a rather boring governmental meeting.

Come on back here after your meeting and post your experience in the comments.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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