CoronaVirus (CoVid-19) Crisis and Bankruptcy: What You Need to Know

To say that the CoronaVirus (CoVid-19) pandemic has changed everything is an understatement. It is estimated that 1/3 of businesses and tenants in rental units did not pay their rent on time in March or April. That number is expected to rise as the lockdown on our businesses and people continues amid CoVid-19 risks of infection and serious illness, in some cases death. Fortunately, in Ventura County, we have not had the level of carnage that Americans are having in New York City. Still, our county next door, Los Angeles County, is not getting exactly the same stellar results that we are enjoying in Ventura County.

With financial worries on the rise, and everything changing from week to week, you may wonder how all of this will affect you if you file for bankruptcy or are already in the process of bankruptcy. There are law firms that can help. They are carefully following all the changes as they appear, and they are here to help you through the bankruptcy process during these incredibly challenging times. Take a look at some of the changes you will face and answer some of your biggest questions.

Are bankruptcy courts still open?

Yes, however, most court hearings will be over the phone, not in person. Everything you say will be recorded and entered into the official record as if you were in person. If it is not made available at the prescribed time, it can and is very likely to be entered into the registry as a ‘no show’ and that is a big no-no with the court.

Can I file for bankruptcy during the Corona virus shutdown?

Yes, the courts still allow bankruptcy cases and motions to be filed during the CoronaVirus crisis. The only real difference is bankruptcy and court appearances will be observing these new CoronaVirus pandemic protocols.

Will my 341 bankruptcy meeting be postponed?

All pending 341 (a) creditor meetings (initially scheduled for March 25, 2020 through April 10, 2020) have continued to a later date, most to be determined. This order will probably be extended. Everything is still fluid at the moment.

In a Chapter 13 case, the continuation of creditor meetings does not relieve debtors of their obligation to begin making plan payments to the Trustee no later than 30 days after the date the petition was filed. Debtors can make these payments electronically at TFS (dot) com.

Can I keep the financial aid payments I receive during the Covid-19 economic crisis?

The bankruptcy administrator will not seek the rotation of any financial aid payments related to the coronavirus economic crisis. That money that you can use for your most immediate financial needs.

Do I still need to make my mortgage payments during the Corona virus closing?

Yes. You will still have to keep making the promised payments. Under certain circumstances, a law firm can obtain some relief from the court.

If you haven’t already filed it, a law firm can get some relief from your creditor under new laws passed by Congress. Of course, the bank that holds your mortgage must be notified of your financial problems or job loss before you default.

Will my bankruptcy discharge be delayed due to the Corona virus crisis?

Your final bankruptcy liquidation may be postponed if your 341 meeting is rescheduled or continues until further notice. Stay up-to-date with updates from your court or trustee. Updated information may also be mailed to you, even after the meeting has taken place. It is important that you comply with all the requirements that were communicated to you, there are no excuses for missing hearings or court appointments.

Will my automatic bankruptcy stay affected by these changes due to Covid-19?

No, unless your bankruptcy case has been dismissed. Otherwise, the automatic stay will remain in effect unless certain exceptions are met, such as your creditor requests a waiver of the suspension. Debtors who file multiple bankruptcy cases in a short period of time can also be denied an automatic stay and will not be allowed to use CoronaVirus as an excuse.

Should I contact my creditors during this Corona virus crisis?

The court will notify creditors in accordance with the law, so you do not need to contact your creditors.

Need help with your bankruptcy during the CoronaVirus pandemic?

Law firms are there to help you during this challenging crisis. Filing for bankruptcy can seem overwhelming and complicated, especially with all the changes going on and the uncertainty, but they can help you navigate your way in helping you complete your bankruptcy. Let them know how they can help you.