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Bankruptcy & COVID-19 FAQs

Coronavirus and Bankruptcy Update

 

If you are in a pending chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan and have been substantially affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, call your bankruptcy attorney to discuss whether recent provisions in the CARES Act can help you?

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It’s important to remember that if you receive a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge, you won’t be eligible for another one until the 8 year anniversary of the prior filing. The COVID-19 pandemic presents some new difficulties to consider before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief. We are suggesting to our clientele to carefully consider both your current and short term situations. Do you need bankruptcy protection now or can you wait a bit longer? In the metro Toledo, Ohio area, many people have recently lost their ability to earn income. Just in the last few weeks, businesses such as restaurants, hair salons, movie theaters, and retail stores have temporarily closed. These and other closings are affecting our financial well-being. We encourage all of our clientele to be mindful of whether their particular financial spiral has slowed down or stopped? Afterall, the goal of Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief is a “fresh start”. If your Chapter 7 bankruptcy fresh start is quickly overshadowed by another round of monthly bills such as rent, car payments, utilities and other similar responsibilities, then you may end up back where you started. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge can provide much needed relief to many families, but first take the time to discuss your situation with a France Law Group Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney.

Chapter 13 bankruptcies involve some sort of a repayment plan of up to 60 months in length. It may seem obvious, but remember that you must have a feasible repayment plan, meaning there has to be money to make these monthly payments. Your France Law Group bankruptcy attorney will take the time to carefully analyze your situation and recommend whether a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan is right for you. In certain cases, the COVID-19 pandemic may open some doors to Chapter 7 bankruptcy eligibility, which does not involve a payment plan. Your bankruptcy attorney will perform a Means Test analysis as well as a household budget analysis, both which may indicate a window of unforeseen Chapter 7 bankruptcy eligibility. Free consult.

Yes, you will have a court hearing at some point. Typically your first interaction with the Bankruptcy Court is the Meeting of Creditors, usually occurring about 7-8 weeks post filing. In March 2020 we began to see changes in how bankruptcy hearings would be conducted going forward during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the situation remains fluid, we have seen a range of hearing adaptations including video, telephonic, as well as straight continuances to a date hopefully past the COVID-19 pandemic.. At present, we are seeing Chapter 7 debtors travel to their bankruptcy attorney’s office for a telephonic hearing. The pros and cons of this new bankruptcy hearing format continue to unfold. While it avoids the risk of spreading the coronavirus in well-attended hearing rooms, both the debtor and the bankruptcy attorney must be mindful to practice social distancing as well.

After searching for the right bankruptcy attorney, it is now time for your free initial consultation. Typically, this means an in-person appointment at your bankruptcy attorney’s office. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, new norms include stay at home orders, social distancing guidelines, and healthy sanitizing habits. So is there another way to meet with your bankruptcy attorney? At France Law Group, our bankruptcy attorney is adapting to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both new and existing clients are able to schedule telephonic meetings. In the forthcoming days, we will be adding a video component, similar to Skype or Google Hangouts. If you need to get started on your bankruptcy, attorney fees can be paid electronically or by US Mail. Document signing can also be handled remotely. By working with your bankruptcy attorney you should be able to overcome most COVID-19 pandemic challenges.