For people who file their Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, there’s usually only one appearance in court required. This appearance is called the Meeting of Creditors. It is called the Meeting of Creditors because creditors are allowed to come to court and question the debtor; this almost never happens. The questioning in court is done by a case attorney who is an attorney appointed by the court to question each debtor.
It is important to remember to bring both your Social Security card and a government-issued photo ID to court. The government-issued photo ID is usually a driver’s license; it can also be a non-drivers license or a passport.
The questioning will take no more than a few minutes. However because of the number of cases that might be on the calendar that day, you might have to wait a little bit of time before your case is called. The questioning in court is not a prosecutorial type of questioning. There are certain issues that the case trustee has to go over, and once satisfied with the answers given by the debtor, the matter is usually closed.
Closing the matter means that the trustee is satisfied that you have no assets that could be sold to generate money for the creditors and he is satisfied with your case. Once the trustee closes your case, there are 60 days in which your creditors can object to your case. Very seldom does anyone object. Once the 60 days expire, the court issues your discharge.
One important thing to remember is that there is a second counseling that has to be done in order to get your discharge. This counseling must be done within 45 days of your appearance in court. However, we do recommend to our clients that they do it immediately so it doesn’t get put to the side and forgotten. This counseling is similar to the one that is taken before the filing, and is done either online or by telephone. Once the discharge is issued, the case is closed. At this point, your debts are discharged and there’s no legal obligation for you to ever pay these debts again.