The short answer to the question, “Do I have to attend a bankruptcy hearing?” is “Yes.”
It is very important for you to appear before the trustee for a myriad of reasons. Therefore, the trustee’s office expects you to appear and will dismiss your case if you fail to appear or make other arrangements.
Now the long answer to that question is, “No.” You can submit responses to written interrogatories instead of appearing at your hearing.
Written interrogatories are a formal set of written questions propounded by the trustee. These questions often mirror what you will be asked at your hearing; however, there are usually more questions in the interrogatories than what you would normally be asked at your hearing.
If you absolutely cannot appear at your hearing whatsoever, you must have a very compelling reason. Now there are a number of compelling reasons that we have come across. Maybe you are ill and currently hospitalized with no discharge date in the formidable future.
Another compelling reason could be that you had to move to another state because you were fleeing a well-documented domestic violence situation. In these types of situations, the trustee will allow you to “appear” by interrogatories.
However, we must first ask for permission to submit interrogatories in lieu of appearing at the hearing. If our request is granted, they will send your attorney written interrogatories and you usually only have a short period of time to respond.
Please discuss this option with your attorney’s office as soon as it becomes apparent that you cannot attend your hearing, regardless of whether or not it is continued.