Most of my clients live in metro Detroit and therefore must attend their court hearing in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan located in downtown Detroit. The court is located at 211 West Fort Street, Detroit MI 48226 just one-block from my main office. It is next to the Comerica bank on the corner of Fort and Washington just up the street from Cobo Hall. Everyone who files either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy must attend what is called a Section .341 Meeting of Creditors or what we typically refer to as your court date. For my typical Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, you will only have to attend this one court hearing and it will generally be less than five minutes in length. Chapter 13 bankruptcy clients must attend the initial meeting of creditors, but must also usually attend their confirmation hearing. If you live in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, St. Clair, Sanilac or Lenawee counties, your court hearings will be held in the Detroit bankruptcy court. The bankruptcy clerk, as well as my office, will send you your official bankruptcy notice. This notice is generated upon the filing of your case and will be mailed out to all of the creditors you listed on your bankruptcy as well. This notice will have your name, case number, your attorney’s name and contact information, as well as the date, time and place of your .341 hearing.
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Most of my clients tell me that finding a free place to park can be difficult in downtown Detroit, but not impossible, except perhaps during the middle part of January when the auto show is at Cobo. Most of my clients either find an open parking meter or park at the Washington Street garage right across the street from the Detroit bankruptcy court. If you are unfamiliar with downtown, be sure to leave early to give you plenty of time to get situated before your hearing. My office located in the Penobscot building has a valet service that presently charges just $10 per day. Many bankruptcy attorneys park with Handy Parking located just one-block north of the bankruptcy court on the corner of Washington and West Lafayette Blvd. which is a bit less expensive than the covered parking structures.
First of all keep in mind that the bankruptcy meeting of creditors is a relatively simple matter and should be nothing to lose sleep over. The Chapter 7 trustee’s job at the hearing is to determine if you have any assets that are not exempt (exempt means protected for your fresh start after bankruptcy), sell them to generate cash to pay your creditors. The Chapter 13 trustee will do an initial check at this hearing and look over your paperwork as well as question your to be sure that you are paying what the law requires you pay back to your creditors in your payment plan. The Detroit bankruptcy trustees are professional and fair and are simply doing their jobs. The typical hearing lasts about five minutes and as long as you are truthful and accurate in your testimony, you have nothing to be afraid of. The trustees generally ask the same questions at Detroit .341 bankruptcy hearings. Your attorney will attend the hearing with you and prepare you beforehand. Nearly every one of my clients walks out of the hearing with me and says something like “Wow, that was easier than I though it would be. Why did I get so worked up about it?”