If you were thinking about filing for bankruptcy before the coronavirus pandemic took hold or have a case in progress, then you might be wondering how the social distancing and quarantine protocols currently in place will affect the outcome. Can you still file? Is your case on hold indefinitely? What is going on?

Are the courts still operating?

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court is still operating, but with adjustments. For example, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, which includes Manhattan, has implemented the following operational changes:

  • All hearings and conferences will be conducted by phone. Any party wishing to appear in person must file an appropriate request or motion.
  • All meetings of creditors (341 hearings) will be postponed or held via video conferencing.
  • Parties who were scheduled to appear at an evidentiary hearing or trial should contact the bankruptcy judge’s courtroom and make arrangements for conducting the proceedings remotely.
  • Pro se filers can still drop off their materials at the intake desk or use the lobby drop boxes of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse in New York or the Honorable Charles L. Brieant Jr. Federal Building and Courthouse in White Plains after regular courthouse hours.

If you were scheduled to attend a 341 hearing or appear at an evidentiary hearing, then your New York bankruptcy attorney can determine whether the proceedings have been postponed or arrangements have been made for carrying it out remotely.

What if you want to file for bankruptcy?

If your creditors are garnishing your wages or threatening to sue you, then call a New York bankruptcy attorney. Like most professionals during the COVID-19 crisis, they are working remotely and can schedule a video or phone consultation with you to:

  • Help you decide whether bankruptcy is right for you
  • Discuss specific chapter qualifications, such as the Chapter 7 means test
  • Explain any difficulties that could be involved in your case

If you decide to go ahead with your filing, then your attorney can guide you through the process of completing the paperwork, paying the filing fee, and collecting any necessary supporting documentation. They will also respond to any calls or emails requesting case updates and further clarification about how the law applies to your situation.

Although the coronavirus pandemic has made some extreme changes to the way we live, work, and carry out duties like a bankruptcy filing, these essential processes are still taking place, albeit in a modified manner. Your New York bankruptcy attorney will work with you to process your case and get the debt relief you need so that when the state of emergency ends, you will be on your way to financial freedom.

If you have questions about filing for bankruptcy, then contact Jayson Lutzky, P.C. at 718-329-9500. We are a Bronx bankruptcy lawyer’s office and have helped many clients seek the debt relief that they need. For more information on the law and coronavirus, click here.