If you file decide to file a bankruptcy, approximately four to six weeks after filing a bankruptcy, you will have to appear at what is called a “341 hearing.” This is essentially a meeting between a local trustee, your attorney and yourself at a local office building (in Madison) or courthouse. This meeting is very manageable and takes place quickly if you arrive prepared (although you may have to wait a while for your hearing to be called, depending on the caseload for the trustee on the day of your hearing). You will answer a number of questions under oath. The average number of questions asked is approximately 15, including questions confirming your name and address. These questions will almost always be similar to those that your attorney has already asked you prior to filing the bankruptcy, and the answers will usually already be in your bankruptcy paperwork.

You will need to appear at the hearing on time with a state photo identification and proof of your Social Security number. Providing proof of Social Security number means providing your current Social Security card or an original W2 from an employer for the Trustee to view.

Also, local trustees are now asking for bank statements for up to 90 days before filing a bankruptcy so please provide those to your attorney when you prepare to file a bankruptcy. Providing the bank statements to your attorney before filing bankruptcy helps avoid issues at your hearing.