Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing in Colorado - Do you need to go to court?
In general, the answer is NO. Only in a contested or problematic bankruptcy do people have to go to court and see a judge. This happens very rarely and usually in big, complicated cases, not in cases for regular folks.
What you do attend, however, is what’s called the Section 341 Meeting of Creditors held at 1999 Broadway on the eighth floor. This title is somewhat of a misnomer because creditors rarely show up at these meetings, and what actually occurs is a conversation between the people filing bankruptcy, their lawyer, and a Bankruptcy Trustee who is an experienced lawyer who looks over the paperwork to be sure things have been done correctly, and, more specifically, asks questions to see if the person filing has any “non-exempt assets” or money on the filing date that needs to be paid to creditors. In the vast majority of cases people do not have non-exempt assets and no money is paid to the Trustee.
There is group of approximately thirty trustees in colorado and who you get is randomly appointed. There is approximately seven minutes allocated per case so the meetings are generally not very long and many cases are set at the same hour so the proceeding goes quickly. Sometimes, of course, a trustee will be assigned a complicated case and this meeting can take longer.
If a client and his or her lawyer does a concientious job in planning for and preparing the bankruptcy, the trustee meetings are very smooth as the trustees are talented, experienced profesionals whose job, and the lawyers and clients’ objectives, coincide with an orderly administration of the case.