At The Colpitts Law Firm, we understand the extensive impact COVID-19 may be having on you and your loved ones. From physical health to financial security, the exact effects of the pandemic may be difficult to predict—but our team can help restore your sense of control over your future. The following is insight into bankruptcy during the coronavirus pandemic.
For more updates and COVID-19-specific counsel for your legal matter, contact The Colpitts Law Firm today.
How Could COVID-19 Affect Your Bankruptcy Case?
One of the most common questions we are receiving is whether bankruptcy courts are still open. While many courts have begun conducting hearings over the phone or videoconference, bankruptcy courts are fully operational, and you can still file your case at this time. You will still need to adhere to all deadlines, but you may benefit from more relaxed signature requirements. Both the Northern District and Eastern District bankruptcy courts in Oklahoma have waived the wet ink signature requirements. The two courts are currently accepting electronically reproduced signatures, allowing debtors to complete the bankruptcy filing process from the safety of their homes. In addition, all hearings and 341 Meetings of Creditors are being held telephonically for the foreseeable future.
COVID-19 is causing financial adversity for nearly every industry in the U.S. economy. To address this national struggle, Congress included several provisions in the CARES Act that temporarily modify the Bankruptcy Code.
These provisions include:
- Exempting federal emergency relief payments (e.g. grants and stimulus checks) from income calculations in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy
- Allowing those in open Chapter 13 proceedings to modify their repayment plans (i.e. lowering payments by extending the deadlines)
- Increasing the debt threshold of Subchapter V of Chapter 11 bankruptcy from $2,725,625 to $7,500,000, allowing more small business owners to qualify
Additionally, the federal government has halted foreclosures and evictions for certain renters and homeowners. Without the imminent threat of losing your home, you may have more time to adequately prepare for your bankruptcy case.
The government may continue to establish financial relief programs, and each court may adjust its operations in different ways. Whether you are considering bankruptcy or have already begun your case, staying up to date during the pandemic is critical for your success.
To help you navigate this crisis, The Colpitts Law Firm is remaining open and conducting services remotely. If you would like to discuss bankruptcy, we are offering our initial consultations via phone. As we finish preparing your case, we can help implement a solution to properly execute all the necessary documents without unnecessarily risking your health. We can still file your bankruptcy case to help you obtain that financial relief you deserve. You will still receive the same dedicated service, just from a safe social distance.