What Happens in Bankruptcy Court if I Do Not Show Up for a Motion Hearing?

By John Green

Failing to show up at a scheduled motion hearing in bankruptcy court when you are required to do so could lead the judge to issue a default judgment against you on the motion under review. Also, there is a significant risk that your petition for bankruptcy relief could be dismissed altogether.

Motion Hearing Requirements

As the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts explains, a motion is a request for the judge to grant some form of relief or issue an order in the case. A debtor represented by an attorney will typically have to attend a hearing on the motion only when specifically required by the judge. However, debtors representing themselves in bankruptcy court are required to personally attend all motion hearings.

Consequences for Failing to Attend

Potential consequences for failing to appear at a bankruptcy motion hearing when required include contempt-of-court penalties and a default judgment on the motion under review. Moreover, a judge has the discretion to dismiss the bankruptcy petition if the debtor is unduly delaying the case.

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Effects on Debt Relief

Failing to show up at a hearing when required can cause serious problems for the debtor in his attempt to obtain debt relief. For example, all debtors are required to attend the meeting with creditors mandated under Section 341 of the federal bankruptcy law, even when represented by an attorney, so failing to appear poses a significant risk that the judge will dismiss the case.

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How to Reinstate a Dismissed Bankruptcy
 

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Pros & Cons of Filing Bankruptcy

Individual debtors frequently file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code, and either course can provide more pros than cons for certain debtors. To file under Chapter 7, you must meet certain income qualifications, but under Chapter 13, you must follow a repayment plan over three to five years. At the end of either type of bankruptcy, you may receive a discharge, or elimination, of certain remaining unpaid debts.

What is a Notice of Dismissal of Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal process by which debtors may restructure or obtain relief from overwhelming debts and get a fresh start on building a positive economic future. The bankruptcy court process has stringent rules and timelines to insure the debtor and creditors are treated fairly. Failure to abide by these rules may lead to dismissal of the bankruptcy, but in most instances, the debtor will be allowed to refile.

341 Hearing & Bankruptcy

If you have filed a bankruptcy petition, you may be anxious about the procedure. The 341 hearing, an important step in the process, requires a meeting of the creditors. Although the event may sound intimidating, the 341 hearing is not an interrogation. In fact, in many cases, the hearing takes just a few minutes from start to finish.

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