Skip to main content

What exactly happens during the date of a civil hearing against a creditor?

Boston, MA |

I have my first court date coming up in the state of Massachusetts very soon and was wondering what goes on. Never been to court or been in trouble in my life so I am a bit nervous. I also don't have a job or funds to pay the creditors and I know i will probably file for bankruptcy in the future. Is it even worth going for if they are going to get judgement anyways? Can you be arrested for not going or not paying the judgement? Thank you.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3


You should hire an attorney to represent you. If you can't afford one, try contacting mass legal services or the MBA lawyer referral service. You should also go to the hearing - if you don't a judgment will likely be entered against you for the dollar amount claimed by the creditor. A judgment is good for 20 years. Even if you can't pay now, you may be able to pay later.

The above answer is provided for information purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship.


It depends on the type of hearing

henry lebensbaum esq 300 Brickstone Sq Ste 201 andover, ma -- (978) 749-3606.
Criminal Law (all courts), Drunk Driving, Drugs, Violence, Sex Offenses, theft, SORB, Divorce Child Custody Alimony Child Support & Modification, Contempts & Paternity Juveniles Domestic Violence & Restraining Orders, Business Law, Personal Injury, Guardianship, Conservatorship & Estate Administration & Legal Malpractice. For these & other areas, contact me. Email sent may be copied intercepted or held by computers.

Criminal Law (all misdemeanor & felonies in District and Superior Courts), Drunk Driving and Drug arrests, Sex Offenses, SORB, Crimes involving Violence or Theft, Domestic (Divorce, Child Custody, Alimony and Child Support) and Family Law (Modification, Contempts & Paternity), Juvenile Law, Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders, Business Law, Personal Injury claims, Probate Law (Guardianships, Conservatorships & Estate Administration) and Legal Malpractice. For these and other areas, contact me. NOTE: This preceding message DOES NOT create an attorney-client relationship. It is not a protected or confidential communication. The statements made herein are not to be interpreted as representations or warranties of any kind. No reliance should be placed on the statements made herein. It is recommended that the recipient(s) should undertake their own research to reach their own opinion. The writer does not accept professional responsibility on this matter. TO CREATE an attorney-client relationship REQUIRES a signed retainer/fee agreement along with a retainer fee that must be received by my office.


You should speak to a Bankruptcy/Debtor attorney who can speak to you about your individual situation immediately. He or she will be able to look at all of your financial makeup and decide whether to negotiate payment plans and/or file bankruptcy.

Many people file bankruptcy about a year later than they should and unnecessarily must be subjected to harassing phone calls. If you are just going to file bankruptcy before the hearing, you will have no reason to appear at the hearing as the debt will be "discharged" (i.e. you will no longer be responsible for it). If you file after the hearing, but before the creditor files a lien against your property, the debt will be similarly discharged.

You will need to meet with a Bankruptcy attorney more about this because if you have a lot of property that can be sold to pay your debts that cannot be exempted (i.e. protected) in your bankruptcy. The court that you file in should be the state where you have lived the most over the past 180 days, while the exemptions that you can use are based on the state where you lived prior to the 2 years before filing for bankruptcy. A bankruptcy attorney can also advise you if federal exemptions are also available in the state. Many states like Massachusetts allow you to use either the state exemptions or federal exemptions (which differ on what property is protected and to what extent). You just cannot mix and match and must choose all state exemptions or all federal exemptions. I would speak to an bankruptcy attorney in the state whose exemptions you will be using.

The content of this answer should not be relied upon or used as a subsitute for consultation with professional advisors and it should be clearly understood that no attorney-client privilege has been created. A more complete answer and/or more accurate answer can only be provided in a more thorough examination of the facts in a consultation with my firm.