When you appear in court, a judge will call out your case name. Listen closely for it. Stand up. Let the judge know you are there. Go to the front of the courtroom. The judge will put you under oath.
Usually, the judge will then have you leave the courtroom with the creditor's lawyer. Sometimes these meetings are in public areas of the courthouse, such as a hallway. Be careful that other people do not overhear your private information, like bank account numbers. You can ask the lawyer to move if you feel uncomfortable. The lawyer will ask you questions about your property and employment. The judge will not be with you.
*You do not need to have a lawyer, but you can bring a lawyer if you want to.
*Do not bring your children with you, if you can help it. The judge probably will not let them sit in the courtroom.
You will need to let the creditor’s lawyer know which of your property is exempt. We talk more about exempt property below.
You can stop the meeting and go back to the courtroom if the lawyer treats you badly. Examples: The lawyer is rude, asks questions that do not make sense, or is looking for information not related to your income or property. Tell the judge what is wrong. The judge will try to solve the problem.
You do not have to answer a question if you think the answer would be an admission of a crime, like fraud or theft. If you think this might be the case, ask the judge for time to talk to a lawyer.
You do not have to give the creditor’s lawyer any money or property at the supplemental hearing. All you have to do is give information about income and property.
*Do not agree to any voluntary account deductions. You should not give the creditor’s lawyer direct access to any bank accounts. If you have two or more creditors, and you give one creditor authority for an automatic account deduction, you are at risk of getting your wages garnished and money you voluntarily agreed to pay taken from your bank account at the same time.