4 Days (And Counting) To My Bankruptcy "Hearing"

I put that word in quotes, because I don’t really consider it a “hearing”.

A decision will be made next Wednesday, and I call that an “adjudication”.

I have run over the “scenario” of that day and time MANY times recently, and I am wondering how I will handle it emotionally.

I am on very heavy anti-depression meds right now, and my moods have “levelled out” a bit, but I am afraid that if I sense even the slightest bit of hostility or bias or prejudice against me, I may just throw up my hands and say “Well FUCK it then!”

I have a folder from my attorneys and I am currently in the process of completing an on-line “debt-management” course required by the bankruptcy court in my state before my debts can be discharged, but you know what?

All those friggin’ questions I am being asked to answer in the tests, were stuff I was already practicing BEFORE I lost my job!

I KNOW about budget! I KNOW about who gets credit and who doesn’t! I KNOW what it takes to keep a good credit score!

I am doing the damn test, and I AM going to the hearing, but I DO have just a smidgeon of PRIDE left.

I am just wondering how all of this will “play out”, and I KNOW I have to “hang in there”, because if it hadn’t been for y’all, I would not have even been ABLE to do this!

A man who can’t take care of his family is less than zero, but I don’t know if I’ll even be able to crawl, OGDAMMIT.

I’m just afraid of my emotional self, my shame, and what it might make me do, if there is even the slightest bit of hostility.

Oh! NOTHING violent! NEVER!

Just “coming back” with words directed at me with hostility with words of my own.

“Rat backed into a corner”, so to speak.

Any advice?

Thanks and I do love y’all!


You will survive this.

Know that.

Cut it out. I mean seriously. You are doing the absolute best that you can.

I agree with you, by the way, all of the ‘pre’ and ‘post’ bankruptcy counseling is crap. They certainly didn’t tell me anything that I didn’t know. And, like you, it was mostly circumstances beyond my control that led me to bankruptcy in the first place. Just go there and listen to what they have to say and answer their questions honestly and everything will be fine. Maybe yours is more complicated, but my whole hearing lasted about 15 minutes at most. Case closed, life goes on.

Bill, when you can’t run, you walk, when you can’t walk, you crawl, when you can’t crawl, you rely on others to support you.

I know you have support; please lean on those physically present in your life to support you. I know they will.

I assume you’re talking about your creditor’s meeting, sometimes called a 341(a) hearing or meeting, because it is required under that section of the bankruptcy code. You filed a Chapter 7, right?

Dunno how they do those in Georgia, but if it is anything like the ones I’ve seen, you have nothing to worry about. No judge will be there. A U.S. Trustee will chair the meeting. You’ll be called and sworn in, and either the trustee or your lawyer will ask you a series of routine questions. If the trustee has any problems with your paperwork, he’ll discuss it with your lawyer. After the questioning is over, any creditors that appear are allowed to ask any questions they may have. The creditors that are likely to show up are secured creditors, and the questions they’ll ask have to do with your intentions regarding the collateral. Your options are generally to surrender it (and discharge your liability) or to keep it and reaffirm the debt. You should have already discussed any potential reaffirmations with your lawyer, so there should be no surprises.

In my area, they schedule those meetings 10-15 minutes apart, all day long. you’ll likely see several hearings before your case is called, so you’ll get a chance to see how they go. The whole thing is pretty routine, and more than a little boring. Generally no personal animosity, no drama. Let your lawyer do the talking except where a question is directly asked to you. Answer truthfully, to the best of your ability, but do not guess or speculate. If you do not know, or can’t remember, say that. Don’t volunteer anything. Answer the question asked. IE, if the trustee asks you what time it is, don’t tell him how to build a watch.

Relax, Bro. You can do this. Thousands of people do it everyday. They get through it, and so will you.

As others have noted, unless you are trying to pull any shenanigans the hearing will be a 10 min. nothing. Basically the Trustee will swear you in, the questions are basically asking you under oath wheather or not the information provided is truthfull and accurate. they may clarify something if needed. It is extremely unlikely that any creditors will bother showing up, unless there is a special circumstance, which your lawyer would have caught and prepared you for ahead of time. The worst part is being in a room full of strangers while it happens, but you are all in the same boat. Don’t even sweat the hearing.

How you will handle the bankruptcy as a whole may be another matter, but try to remember that this is not a personal thing to your creditors, it is just business and you need to handle yours.

I wouldn’t feel bad. What’s good for GM is good for the country, as the old saying goes, and if bankruptcy is good enough for GM, then it’s good enough for any of us.

As for the banks, I have no sympathy for them. Did they care anything about me? Do they care about anyone else? I think not.

I think it’s sad that most personal bankruptcies involve far less fraud than business bankruptcies, where the accountants and CFOs and CEOs know exactly how poor of a risk is and they do it anyway, knowing they can always do bankruptcy.

I don’t know that I’d phrase it quite like this, but at the heart of it, this is true. Every creditor of your entered into an arrangement with you knowing that one possible outcome was you discharging the debt in bankruptcy. You didn’t plan to do this, but there’s no reason not to avail yourself of this perfectly legal and proper option now that circumstances demand it. You’re not cheating anyone.

Thanks, everyone.

I know there are some folks here who don’t know me or my circumstance (the dementia diagnosis), but I do appeciate your kind words of support.

All of what I wrote above is what I am feeling about filing for bankruptcy, yes, but I’m concerned that I might go “bat-shit” and lose it emotionally, and that would not be a good thing.

When I “feel” it start to happen, and I am in the middle of a sentence (answering a question or just talking in general), I stop. And then there’s a pause (sometimes a very LONG pause) while I get myself under control and I would not want that to be misunderstood.

What I would LIKE to do, is ask my attorney to let the hearing officer know that this might happen, but I don’t know if that would be “kosher”, as it sounds like I’m asking for “special consideration”, and I don’t want it to be taken that way.

It’s really overwhelming to even think about this now and it helps a lot being able to write and “talk” to y’all about it.

So to “cut to the chase”, it’s not just about the shame, it’s also about the damn dementia and never knowing what might happen and when.

My wife will be there to support me as she has through these last 9 months, and it bothers me that because something isn’t right with my damn brain, that I might not be able to “man up” as they say. :wink:

So I’m going to be very “regimental” with my meds and do the best I can.

I do appreciate you guys.




  1. There is nothing for which you should feel bad, at all. Consider, if God himself gave us the original pattern (the Year of Jubilee. Book of Exodus?) then I think that you cannot be too wrong to do something like this. It is also a Constitutional right. Not an interpretation by a court, but in the original. (But, you’ll have to look it up yourself.) So, you have God, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, all agreeing that you aren’t doing a bad thing.

  2. If there are credit cards involved, then the extortionous swine have it coming anyway. The reprehensible rates of interest cover the companies losses. And then some.

  3. This *is *a move in you supporting your family, rather than supporting other institutions. I know a few people with great wealth, and most of them have gone bankrupt at one time, or another.

  4. Have you attorney tell the judge of what you’re going through with the meds. This isn’t a sign of wanting special treatment, it will be giving the judge heads up for something that they may not understand.

  5. I have gone through this before. There is nothing to it.

  6. Amusing anecdote: When I went bankrupt in 1990, I read a book about how to do it. The book said something like "Dress your best in court. It shows respect (or something like that) " So, I got all scrubbed up, wore my suit, took extra care grooming, even wore my new Christmas gold ring. I was surrounded by a bunch of rich hillbillies in jeans and crappy shirts. They all had huge debts, and large incomes. Something like 30k-50k income, against 200k in debts, some not, but all with *larger *incomes than me. To a man. The standard question was, “How did you get into this situation?” They gave their stories. I gave mine. The judge, or whatever he was, listened and gave everyone a nod. Except for the jerk in the suit (with the lowest income). Jerk in suit got cross examined like an Exxon official. Moral of the story: Don’t go in looking like a banker. Wear jeans and a 2nd rate shirt.

You’ll do fine. Good luck, and God bless you.


Bill, if your “hearing” is anything like mine was, there will be a room full of people going through exactly the same thing. No one there will be judging you on a personal level. Your meeting will take about 10 minutes. You probably won’t even be in a courtroom. The hardest part of my hearing was finding a parking space and waiting our turn.

If you start to get flustered, just imagine one of us there with you squeezing your hand.

Monkey, thanks, and you’re right: we’ll be in a motel.

hh, thank you as well and thanks for the tip on how to dress. My son, years ago, gave me a Rolex knock-off. Best to leave THAT at home too, huh? :slight_smile:

My crazy sense of humor gets me through a lot of tough times, and so do all my friends here!

I’ll pretend y’all are there with me, cheering me on: “Come onnnnnn Quasi!!! Whooooo Hoooo! You da babe, you da boy! Go for broke man, GO FOR BROKE!!!”



Come onnnnnn Quasi!!! Whooooo Hoooo! You da babe, you da boy! Go for broke man, GO FOR BROKE!!!



Let’s see, you’ve lost your job and you’ve got dementia. Bring a note from the doc to prove it. I haven’t been to a bankruptcy hearing in years, but they’ve got a few hours to get through 20 people. So whatever it is they do to you won’t last more than a few minutes. Answer the questions, look confused.

I have no experience whatsoever with this kind of stuff, Quasi, but as others have said here: you will get through this. I’ll be thinking of you, and wish you all the best. Hang in there, my friend.

Not saying anything you don’t already know, but I suspect you would likely be able to do your case more harm by blowing up, than you could possibly do yourself good by anything positive you say or do. I know mental illness is not simply a matter of self-control, but please do whatever you can to reduce the likelihood of outbursts.

Judges and hearing officers are not always patient or tolerant, but more often than not they are intelligent and reasonable. IME, just about any decision-maker would prefer that an attorney explain any unusual things - such as your efforts to control your moods - in an opening statement. Also, you might wish to suggest that your attorney ask you to step outside - if that is permitted - to collect yourself. Maybe you will run into a decision-maker who is a jerk, but at least you will have done what you could.

You’ll get through this. Just keep reminding yourself, exert whatever effort you can on not hurting your situation.