The current health crisis has led to major financial difficulties for millions of Americans across the country. With so much economic instability, many people are looking for ways to get control of their debts, and filing for bankruptcy may just be the best way. Below, you’ll find some of the most common questions about bankruptcy during the COVID-19 crisis, and how filing for bankruptcy can ultimately help you achieve a positive financial outcome.
1. Are Bankruptcy Courts Open?
Yes. Over the last fifteen years, attorneys have been asked more frequently to file cases electronically. As a result, filing for bankruptcy has never been more convenient, despite the stay-at-home orders reinstated in many areas across the U.S.
Before the pandemic, bankruptcy courts allowed attorneys and witnesses to attend by phone for certain hearings, but still required debtors and their attorneys to appear in person when meeting with the bankruptcy trustee. However, this has now changed.
Due to COVID-19, debtors do not need to leave their homes to meet with their attorney or file a case, and are not presently required to physically attend the bankruptcy hearings and meetings. After the COVID crisis ends, it is likely that physical attendance will once again be required.
2. When Is the Best Time to File?
One common question is whether someone should wait to file for bankruptcy after the COVID-19 crisis is over or begin the process as soon as possible. The answer to this question depends on each person’s current, unique situation.
If someone has been laid off from a stable job due to the pandemic and has been unable to pay the bills as a result, it may be more advantageous for them to file sooner rather than later. If they do not file and instead begin to work again once the crisis is over, they may no longer qualify for bankruptcy, but their existing debt will likely continue to increase.
On the other hand, if someone is expecting a decrease in income or an increase in expenses in the future, or if they have a debt that can be discharged by bankruptcy at a later date, it may be better for them to wait in order to maximize the benefits of filing.
3. How Can Filing for Bankruptcy Help?
Filing for bankruptcy will help you start fresh financially. No matter which chapter you choose to file under, you are granted an automatic stay. This completely halts all creditor actions against you, ridding you of that stress and anxiety as you complete the bankruptcy process.
The bankruptcy process also has the end result of a discharge which permanently eliminates your current debts. During this time of financial and economic instability, filing allows you to discharge the most common types of debts that may have gotten out of hand during the pandemic.
Contact Our Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Team Today
We sympathize with the vast number of individuals and families that have found themselves in financial hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis. If you have been affected, we are committed to providing compassionate and personalized services to help you achieve financial freedom.
If you have questions about how bankruptcy can help you, do not hesitate to contact us today through our website, or give us a call at (570) 458-2008!