Trustee Blog

Second call at bankruptcy hearing

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Second Call

Chapter 7 Trustee Arturo Cisneros conducts his Riverside division hearings at the same building as the US Trustee has offices. The hearing room is on the first floor of the red brick building located at 3801 University Ave., Room 101 or 103, Riverside, CA 92501.

I mention this because there is not a day that goes by where debtors go to the wrong building. The US Bankruptcy Court is located at 3420 12th Street, Riverside, CA 92501 which is about half a mile from the hearing room. I know because many of times I had to walk/run that distance to make it to a hearing.

Most of the time the debtors who are late are ones that do not have attorneys. They filed their cases in pro se and do not know about the location. the In pro se debtors have to file their paperwork at the window at the Courthouse on 12th Street and assume that the hearing will be heard in the same location. Unfortunately for them, they arrive at 12 Street when their hearing is on University Ave., in Riverside. This happens so often that the US Marshall has a paper map that shows the walking directions to the hearing room.

While it is understandable that a pro se debtor would go to the wrong location, it is not understandable how a debtor represented by an attorney would show up at the wrong location. The attorney’s job is to prepare the petition, represent the client AND make sure they get to the hearing on time. The extra effort you make to ensure the client knows where he is going will save you in the long run.

Last week I was appearing for an attorney that practices in Palm Desert, CA. His client was supposed to drive from Palm Desert, CA to Riverside, CA for her hearing. She called her attorneys office about two hours later hopelessly lost in Escondido, CA about 50 miles away from Riverside and 50 miles away from Palm Desert in the wrong direction. Her matter had to be rescheduled for next month. This creates more cost for the attorney as now the second hearing has to be covered.

I appear for other attorneys at these hearings and have developed a website to show clients where the hearing room is in Riverside. Visit my website at www.bkmike.com for a video of the location and tips on what clients should bring to the hearing.

Practice Pointer: Tell your clients the address of the hearing room. Send them a letter, follow up with a telephone call and THEN text them! If they are not in the room with you when their case is called, then you and the trustee have to wait. And you have better things to do than watch 20 debtors at the meeting of creditors while their matter is placed on second call.

Second Practice Pointer: Visit my website at www.bkmike.com or show my website to your clients so they will not be late to their hearing. This will decrease their anxiety and increase their likelihood of being on time.

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