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

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To say that the CoronaVirus (CoVid-19) pandemic has changed everything is an understatement. It is estimated that 1/3 of businesses and tenants failed to pay their rent on time in March or April. This number is expected to increase as the lockdown of our businesses and people continues amid the risks of infection and serious illness from CoVid-19, in some cases of death. Fortunately, in Ventura County, we didn't have the level of carnage Americans in New York City are experiencing. Yet our neighboring county, Los Angeles County, doesn't have exactly the same stellar results that we enjoy in Ventura County.

With financial worries on the rise, and everything changing from week to week, you may be wondering how this will all affect you if you file for bankruptcy or if you are already going bankrupt. There are law firms to help you out. They carefully follow all changes as they appear and are there to help you through the bankruptcy process during these extremely difficult times. Discuss some of the changes you will face and answer some of your most important questions.

Are bankruptcy courts still open?

Yes, however, most hearings will be conducted by phone and not in person. Everything you say will be recorded and put on the official record as if you were in person. If you fail to make yourself available at the prescribed time, it can and likely will be on the record as a 'no show' and that's a big no-no with the court.

Can I still file for bankruptcy during the Corona virus shutdown?

Yes, the courts still allow the filing of bankruptcy cases and petitions during the CoronaVirus crisis. The only real difference is bankruptcy and court appearances will observe these new CoronaVirus pandemic protocols.

Will my 341 bankruptcy meeting be postponed?

All pending 341 (a) creditors meetings (originally scheduled for March 25, 2020 to April 10, 2020) continued at a later date, most to be determined. This order will probably be extended. Everything remains fluid at the moment.

In a Chapter 13 case, the continuation of creditors meetings does not release debtors from their obligation to begin making payments under the plan to the trustee no later than 30 days after the filing date of the petition. Debtors can make these payments electronically on TFS (dot) com.

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

The bankruptcy trustee will not ask for the turnover of economic relief payments related to the economic crisis of the coronavirus. This money you can use for your most immediate financial needs.

Do I still have to make my mortgage payments while the Corona virus is stopped?

Yes. You will need to continue making payments as promised. In certain circumstances, a law firm may be able to obtain relief from the court.

If you haven't filed it yet, a law firm may be able to obtain relief from your creditor under new laws passed by Congress. Of course, your bank that holds your mortgage should be notified of your financial hardship or job loss before you miss payments.

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

Your final bankruptcy discharge may be postponed if your 341 meeting is postponed or continued until further notice. Stay informed of updates from your court or trustee. Updated information may also be emailed to you, even after your meeting has taken place. It is important that you meet all the requirements that have been communicated to you, there is no excuse for missing hearings or hearing dates.

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

Unless your bankruptcy case has been rejected. Otherwise, the automatic stay will remain in effect unless certain exceptions are met, such as your creditor requests a waiver of the stay. Debtors who file multiple bankruptcy cases in a short period of time may also be denied an automatic stay and you will not be allowed to use the CoronaVirus as an excuse.

Should I contact my creditors during this Corona virus crisis?

The court will notify creditors according to the law, so you don't need to contact your creditors.

Need help with your bankruptcy during the coronavirus pandemic?

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


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