In most cases you do not have to go to court when you file for bankruptcy.

You will, however, always have to appear for a meeting, known as a Section 341 or creditors meeting,  approximately 5 to 8 weeks following your bankruptcy filing, where the trustee appointed to your case and your creditors can ask you limited questions about your assets and finances.

In Pennsylvania, these meeting are ordinarily not held in a court. Also, so you know, credit card companies, banks and mortgage lenders usually do not appear at these meetings.

If the trustee or a creditor of yours seeks to challenge your right to obtain a discharge in your bankruptcy case (for any of a variety of reasons, including fraud) or if a creditor seeks to obtain relief from the protection that the bankruptcy law affords you (known as the automatic stay) to pursue a claim against you or your property in state court (such as initiating a foreclosure action), you may be required to appear in bankruptcy court to defend that action.

You may also be required to appear in bankruptcy court if you elect to sign a reaffirmation agreement in order to keep a vehicle that is secured by a loan. Your appearance is simply to convince the bankruptcy judge that you have to ability to maintain your vehicle payments.

If you have any questions about this post, please write to me at: or call me at my Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania office at (570) 823-9400.