Are you still in a holding pattern about your financial situation because of COVID?

One of my interests is reading about what others think about bankruptcy. I came across this article (see below) about how bankruptcy filings are down. I am a bankruptcy attorney and that’s my job, and obviously any business wants steady consistent business. This hasn’t been the case for many bankruptcy attorneys since yes, bankruptcy filings are down. Many individuals view that there’s enough assistance out there for people to avoid bankruptcy and still sustain their lifestyle currently. I agree with that statement and I hope that remains that way.

 

However, I’ve talked to a fair share of people who are in a holding pattern. They’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. They’re waiting for all the aid to stop and still be caught at home. The reasons for not working are many, health issues, job prospects, and/or family issues. Everyone has a reason to remain home or not working if you are in that particular subset.

 

What’s concerning about this article is the misleading aspect of it. The article sites bankruptcy fees, or specifically chapter 7 fees to be approximately $2,000 and the main driver of why bankruptcy filings are down. They also sight the inability to access the court system. Both of these have been none issues in the Seattle area. Bankruptcy fees have been the same for a long time, in fact at my firm, my bankruptcy fees for Chapter 7s haven’t changed in the last 10 years. Furthermore, the access to the court system is false. Here in the Seattle area and specifically the Western District of Washington Bankruptcy Court, they have remained open. In our district, bankruptcies are filed electronically and meeting of creditors (the court date where you’ll go before the Bankruptcy Trustee and creditors if they appear) has become telephonic since COVID. In fact, it’s probably easier to get filed because now you can avoid the trip down to the courthouse or meeting location and can do it in the comfort of your own home.

 

Bankruptcy filing today is streamlined and much easier to attain. If you’re still wondering what to do about your debt and waiting for the other shoe to drop, its best to consult a bankruptcy attorney to see what your options are and when is the best time to file. I service the Pacific Northwest, so feel free to give me a call to weigh all your options at (425) 559-0636.

 

Original Article: https://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/covid-was-supposed-to-increase-bankruptcies-instead-theyve-gone-down

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