Do I Have to Go to Court During the Bankruptcy Process?
In most cases, you will only have to go to one hearing called "the Section 341 Meeting of Creditors" during a bankruptcy filing. Usually, this will be short and simple. The trustee will ask you a few questions, including your name, address, whether you have had a bankruptcy discharge before and how long you have lived at your current address. There are certain residency requirements for filing bankruptcy in California.
Creditors are permitted to attend and ask you questions. They cannot be abusive, however, so this is nothing to worry about. In fact, creditors rarely actually attend the hearing. Usually, your case will be completed within four to six months from the initial filing.
After the initial meeting of creditors, it is very rare that you will have to go to court. However, if you plan on filing without an attorney – which is not advisable – you might have to appear in front of a judge. There is a bankruptcy court for each judicial district in the country. Filers can find a bankruptcy court for Orange County in the California Central District. There are courts located in Los Angeles, Woodland Hills, Riverside and Santa Ana. Orange County bankruptcy law operates in the same manner as the rest of the country.
Your bankruptcy lawyer in Irvine will handle everything. A typical Chapter 7 debtor will not appear in court and will not see the bankruptcy judge unless an objection is raised in the case. A Chapter 13 debtor may only have to appear before the bankruptcy judge at a plan confirmation hearing.