No, you don’t have to go to the Chapter 13 Confirmation hearing unless someone is objecting to your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, and the judge has decided to hear testimony about the objection. This is very rare and has only happened a few times in my career.
The confirmation hearing only happens in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, and it should not be confused with the “341 Meeting” or “Meeting Of Creditors.” The 341 meeting happens in every Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, and you must attend. It usually takes about 5 minutes and happens in downtown Minneapolis or Downtown Saint Paul for cases filed in the Twin Cities metro area.
In many states, it is necessary for the client to attend the Chapter 13 confirmation hearing, but not in Minnesota. The confirmation hearing is when the judge decides whether the debtor’s Chapter 13 plan fits all of the legal requirements to be finalized, and “confirmed.”
In Minnesota the Chapter 13 Trustee’s counsel will tell us, the debtor’s counsel, what is necessary to get the case confirmed. We take care of these things before the hearing. Usually it is just a matter of providing a few more documents so that the trustee and judge can be certain that the Chapter 13 Plan is feasible and fair to the creditors.
IN WHAT SITUATIONS WOULD I HAVE TO COME TO THE CONFIRMATION HEARING?
It is very rare for the debtor to be required to appear at a Chapter 13 Confirmation hearing. I have only had it happen 2 or 3 times in the last seven years out of over 1,000 Chapter 13s. Usually it is necessary because the judge wants to hear the debtor’s testimony about the value of something that the debtor owns. Because the debtor is the most knowledgeable person about their property, they are the best person to testify.
For example, I had a confirmation hearing where we were stripping off a second mortgage, and the debtor had to come and help explain about the condition of the house. He explained that the roof was in poor condition and sometimes allowed water to enter the house. The judge used this testimony to better understand the appraisal which we had submitted as evidence.
Another situation where someone might have to come to their hearing is if a creditor said that the Chapter 13 was done in bad faith. I have never had a creditor seriously allege this. Bad faith filings are when people file multiple Chapter 13 Bankruptcies right after one another to stop foreclosure, or they don’t tell the truth about their income and assets.
If you’re worried about filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Minnesota, because you think you’ll have to meet your creditors, then hopefully this has put you at ease.