When you file bankruptcy, our office attends a Meeting of Creditors (341 Meeting) with you. We never hire outside counsel or a cover lawyer to attend. We appear with you. It is scheduled about 30 days after you file your bankruptcy. The hearing itself only lasts a couple of minutes. As each year that bankruptcy filings decrease, the trustees (court appointed people to review your estate) become stricter. Trustees receive a percentage of what is administered as their compensation.
Now more than ever it is crucial you hire an attorney to handle your bankruptcy. I see time and time again, someone looking for the cheapest way to do a bankruptcy hire a paralegal or worse, see a sign on the roadside advertising a $200 bankruptcy and decide to hire that person. When they get in front of the trustee, they become a tasty steak for the trustee to devour. We tell clients during a consultation that we understand what is protected and what is not and have years of experience filing bankruptcies (almost 5000 cases). A lot of times I tell clients to hold off from filing for now. Do you think a bankruptcy petition preparer that is paid $200 will tell you to hold off? No way. They want to get paid. Be careful. It is just too risky to file on your own and trust a person that just set up a shop and knows probably as much as you do.