Bankruptcy Law Questions? Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer Now.
I'm going to try to answer your questions, but a few things first. As you undoubtedly know, each jurisdiction might do things slightly differently, and I'm just able to give you general information here. But, bankruptcy is federal and works about the same in every area. All federal documents, filings, etc. are online and can be accessed and read by anyone who subscribes to a service called PACER. It is public record when you file a bankruptcy of course.
The first thing I want to say is this: If you are filing a personal Chapter 7 that has nothing to do with your corporations. Each corporation is a "legal person" and it's dealings have nothing to do with your personal finances. Now, if you had a sole proprietorship you would have to produce the business records. That is the whole reason some people incorporate--they are not ever personally responsible for the debts of the corporation. So, from what you are telling me, you do not have to produce the corporate records, because that is not "your" financial info---it is the corporation's. That being said, you would have to show any income you, personally, got from the corporation as a shareholder or an employee.
As for the "hearings" and such, unless there are complications such as creditors saying you defrauded them, etc. there is usually just one meeting. It is called meeting of the creditors and creditors can show up and argue with the trustee (no judges are there). Creditors rarely, if ever, show up. It is usually in person, but I can't speak to every jurisdiction. Perhaps some of them have a closed circuit TV feed to make things easier, I don't know. The meeting of creditors takes 10 minutes usually, unless there is a creditor who is arguing about something. Then a little longer. As I said, they rarely show up, because it doesn't do them any good.
So, your worries about your corporations, I think, are totally unfounded. That is the corporations' dealings, not yours personally. Unless they (the creditors or the bankruptcy trustee, or court) try to say they weren't really actual corporations. They call that "piercing the corporate veil" but you don't need to get into all that now.
Please follow up with any questions you have. That's a lot of info to digest!
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).