When must a person appear in court in a chapter 7 case and what happens there?

The first court appearance is for a hearing called the “meeting of creditors,” which is usually held about a month after the case is filed.  The person filing the case must bring photo identification, his or her social security card, and all of his or her bank and investment account statements to this hearing.  At this hearing the person is put under oath and questioned about his or her debts, assets, income and expenses by the hearing officer or trustee.  In most chapter 7 consumer cases no creditors appear in court; but any creditor that does appear is usually allowed to question the person.  For most persons this will be the only court appearance, but if the bankruptcy court decides not to grant the person a discharge or if the person wishes to reaffirm a debt, there may be another hearing about three months later which the person will have to attend.