by Adam Mack
If you file bankruptcy in Kansas, then you will be required to do so in one of three division courts, including Kansas City, Wichita and Topeka. If you file in Topeka, you will need to know how the case will proceed from beginning to end. If for any reason you need to contact the Kansas Bankruptcy Court Topeka Divisional Office, the clerks’ phone number is (785) 338-5910 and they answer the phones from 9:30 A.M. – 3:30 P.M. Monday – Friday.If you you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in Topeka, then you case will be randomly assigned by the Court to one of three trustees: Robert Baer, Darcy Williamson, or Patricia Hamilton. Then you will be scheduled to appear before the trustee assigned to your case at the Meeting of Creditors, also know as a 341 hearing, named after the statute that requires it. If you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Topeka, then your case will be assigned to local Chapter 13 trustee, Jan Hamilton. He is the only trustee assigned to the Topeka division office, so unless your case is one of the few cases he might have a conflict of interest on, he will be assigned to your case. Regardless of whether you file a Chapter 7 or 13, the Meeting of Creditors hearings in Topeka are a little different from the hearings held in the other Kansas bankruptcy division courts in that the hearing is not held in a courthouse, rather it is held in a conference room located at 515 S. Kansas Ave., Suite 402, Topeka, KS 66603. The building is located across the street from Bank of America Tower (the tallest building in Downtown Topeka) and the building has the name Goodell, Stratton, Edmonds & Palmer, L.L.P on it, which is the name of the law firm located on the first floor. Upon being assigned to a bankruptcy case, each of the trustees in Topeka will send a written request to you asking you to provide certain documents to support your case. In some cases, the trustee assigned to your case may even require you to fill out a questionnaire. While their document requests are routine, be assured that they are not taking a cookie cutter approach to reviewing your case. As discussed elsewhere in this blog, part of the trustee’s duties are to look for non-exempt assets that they can recover from you and you have an absolute duty to disclose certain information and answer questions at the 341 meeting. There are those who make the unfortunate, and costly, mistake of assuming that filing bankruptcy is just the simple filing out of forms. While it is a form-based practice, knowing the implications of the information you put into the forms requires a thorough legal analysis. Your best bet is to look for a qualified bankruptcy lawyer to help you determine the benefits and risks of filing.
These articles are for general informational use and do not constitute legal advice. Since laws change over time, it’s possible some articles are out of date and for that reason, we make no representation that the articles are fully accurate. For actual, up-to-date legal advice (including a free consultation), please contact us!