The best evidence would be phone records showing you tried to call prior to the hearing.
In the end, each trustee is different.
I would call a local attorney with experience and ask about the Trustee's tendencies. If they are mean or they are strict about rules.
Then I would call the Trustee and explain the situation and see what can be done - with this information in mind. It is always better to negotiate a deal then litigate.
Trustees may respect you calling and discussing the situation with them.
Please contact me directly with document for a free 30 minute consultation to get more concrete advice. This is not legal advice. I don't have enough information to give actual legal advice. I can only take the limited information presented and provide a framework to know how your situation may turn out. I may have questions that bring up issues you did not think were important but make a big difference.
The trustee wants to get your attention as he or she has no way of really knowing the facts of your situation. I believe you need to prepare sworn affidavits regarding the events of that day. Include copies of your phone records and auto repair expence records. Send this to the trustee.
If there is a hearing scheduled for the trustees motion you must answer his motion within the time deadlines or the case will be dismissed without a court hearing. By answering his motion in writing you will have the chance to go to court and show the judge your evidence. All of this is rather technical so I would get a bankruptcy attorney to handle the case from this point forward.
Timing is everything. If you just received the motion to dismiss your case, you should consider filing an objection stating why you were unable to attend the initial meeting of creditors and the dates you attempted to contact the trustee by phone, and be sure to serve a copy of the objection on the trustee. I recommend sending the copy of your objection to the trustee by certified mail together with a cover letter explaining why you were unable to attend the initial meeting and that you would ask that he withdraw the motion to dismiss and schedule a continuing meeting of creditors. If the court schedules a hearing on your objection to the motion to dismiss, you should call the judge's clerk and ask if you could appear by telephone since distance seems to be an issue for you. If you believe that you cannot handle this on your own, you should definitely seek bankruptcy counsel to assist you.
Beary Law Offices PLC is not acting as your attorney in providing this response.
It depends on the state. In some, it is not up to the trustee. If you miss the hearing, the trustee can continue the hearing (some do this) or move to dismiss. The best approach is to object to the dismissal motion and be prepared to argue in court why it should be denied. The judge will set a new date for your hearing. Miss that and you are toast.
Mr. Goldstein is a Virginia-licensed attorney only. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Answering this question does not in any way constitute legal representation. Contacting Mitchell Goldstein or the Goldstein Law Group does not constitute legal representation, nor is any information you provide protected by attorney-client privilege until otherwise advised.