Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Is Discharge The Final Act In A Bankruptcy Case, Or Do I Have To Come Back To Court?

Most people prefer to spend their days anywhere but in a Courtroom. This is especially true when the case is about your finances, because being tight on money is stressful enough without adding the anxiety going to Court can cause. Luckily, most bankruptcy cases only require one attendance in Court and that hearing takes place at the start of the case. The hearing is called a 341 hearing and is very informal. Once you are finished with your 341 case, you can expect to resume normal daily activities without being asked to come back to Court. After the 341 hearing and other administrative needs in your case are handled, you will be notified that your case has been discharged. The discharge is the end of your case, and is the legal equivalent of declaring your debts no longer due and payable.

But, there could be instances where you would have to go back to Court after the 341 meeting and perhaps even after the discharge is entered. Some examples include:

         If you or a creditor reopen your case. This happens when a debt has not been fully administered during the case, but is not an automatic circumstance. A request to reopen a case has to be made, and not all of those requests are granted.
         If a creditor is challenging your right to discharge their debt, you may be required to come to court for more than just the 341 hearing. These types of instances are called adversary proceedings, and can include a trial in the bankruptcy court. If this happens in your case, there is no need to get worried. The trial is not to a jury, and your involvement should be limited to answering a few questions.
We understand that going to Court is not something most people do frequently, and it can be intimidating. This is why we prepare you fully, and make sure you know what to expect when you do step foot inside the Courthouse doors. We prepare you from the smallest detail of needing proof of identification to gain entry, to what types of questions to expect from lenders who show up at the 341 hearing. And, if an adversary does get filed in your case, we spend our time with you preparing you for those questions as well. Our goal is to have you show up to Court comfortable, and with confidence in what is expected of you.

If you have more questions about the bankruptcy discharge, contact us today at We will help you come up with solutions that work for your family, and have multiple locations where we schedule appointments so you can make a choice that is convenient for you.

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