Coronavirus affects Bankruptcy court proceedingsIn the past few weeks, panic over the spread of coronavirus has snowballed. Cruise ship passengers are being quarantined, toilet paper is out of stock at retailers due to stockpiling, and major events and organizations are suspending their activities for the time being. The effects of this pandemic have finally seeped into the bankruptcy industry. All 341 Meetings of Creditors in Arizona scheduled until 3/31/20 will be postponed. Whether you filed recently, or you are considering filing soon, you need to understand how this will affect your case.

Already Filed– If you have already filed your case and had a 341 Meeting of Creditors scheduled on or before 3/31/20, your hearing will be temporarily postponed. Please be patient while waiting to hear about your new court date. Your attorney likely won’t have any information about when your new court date will be, but should inform you once they do. Once your case was filed, an automatic stay of protection went into effect preventing your creditors from collecting on your debts. This will stay in effect until your case is discharged, which is approximately 60 days after your 341 Meeting of Creditors. This means that if your hearing is postponed, the stay will still be protecting you until your case is discharged. The drawbacks of having your 341 postponed are that the amount of time before you can get a FHA loan and the bankruptcy is off your credit will be delayed by a month or two.

Considering Filing- We file our bankruptcies electronically, so the court’s closure won’t affect your ability to file. However, your 341 Meeting of Creditors may be scheduled out further than the typical 30-45 days. Keep this in mind if you were planning on making any travel plans in the next few months. You will still have a stay of protection to prevent collection of debts until your case is discharged.

                Bankruptcy is already a stressful situation without factoring in the present coronavirus epidemic. Try to stay calm and enjoy your extended stay of protection. If you have any other concerns about how the coronavirus may affect your bankruptcy, call our office today for a free consultation.