DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS CAN I STILL FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY?
YES. In fact, the bankruptcy rules now allow us to file your case over the phone. If you need help, call and schedule a telephonic appointment. People need these remedies now more than ever, and the courts know it.
ARE THE BANKRUPTCY COURTS STILL OPEN?
YES. But for now, all hearings will be by telephone, not in person. This includes the §341 Meeting of the Creditors. This is usually the only hearing that requires your participation, though you do need to help the lawyer prepare for any other hearings. At that Meeting of Creditors you will answer a few questions from the Trustee by telephone with your lawyer on the other line. Chapter 13 confirmation hearings and other hearings will also be done by telephone, but the lawyers normally handle those without you on the line. However, beforehand your help is needed by the lawyer to prepare.
Refer to the Court’s website http://www.ganb.uscourts.gov/ for information and updates.
HOW DO I CALL IN TO MY 341 MEETING OF THE CREDITORS HEARING?
You will receive notice from the court giving you the exact date and time of your hearings. That notice will include a 1) phone number to call. A recording will ask you for your 2) “access code”. This is also listed in the court’s notice. Type in the access code, and say your name when asked. 3) Mute the phone and wait. Wait until the Trustee calls your name, then 4) un-mute your phone to talk, and answer the Trustee. It’s really very easy, but you can’t be late. We’ll walk you through it.
CAN I KEEP MY ECONOMIC RELIEF PAYMENTS?
YES. The Trustee will not be seeking a turnover of any economic relief payments related to coronavirus.
DO I STILL NEED TO MAKE MY PLAN PAYMENTS?
YES. This crisis does not change the obligation to make plan payments to the Chapter 13 Trustee after the date that the petition was filed. Any changes that can be made will be made in writing by amendment with the help of the lawyer. Talk it over with the lawyer as needed.
WHAT IF I CAN’T MAKE MY PLAN PAYMENTS DUE TO CORONAVIRUS?
Contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell us your situation. You may need to provide documentation of income loss due to COVID-19. The Trustees and Court are aware of the crisis and will work with you.
DO I STILL NEED TO MAKE MY MORTGAGE PAYMENT?
WHAT IF I CANNOT PAY MY MORTGAGE DUE TO COVID-19?
Contact your mortgage company directly and see if any grace periods or deferments are available.
KEEP COPIES OF ALL PAYMENTS MADE AND CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED DURING THIS CRISIS. THINGS ARE CHANGING DAILY.
Thank you! Stay safe. We’ll get through this! We’re here to help.
H. Brooks Cotten & Gina Karrh