Adapting to our new COVID-19 reality


Covid-19 economic debt relief bankruptcy Matthew-Goodin

March 22, 2020

I hope all of you are following the recommended measures related to COVID-19.  There is no excuse to ignore the warnings.  This is our new reality!  The sooner we learn to adapt, the more efficiently we will overcome it.  Tragically, there is no doubt that we will suffer significant losses. Covid-19 economic relief bankruptcy

My office will follow all of the federal, state, and local recommendations. I have reduced our office hours to allow for more time with children who are out of school. We are still accepting telephone calls, offering consultations, and accepting new clients. However, we will conduct all of our meetings and consultations by telephone or videoconference.

A lot has changed in the past two weeks! The district courts are only conducting “essential” hearings and extended all limitations & deadlines by 30 days. Our bankruptcy court has postponed all scheduled Meetings of Creditors, and are conducting some of the hearings telephonically.

I expect our authorities to extend these measures even longer, and other measures could be adopted. For example, bankruptcy courts in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, and others, are now allowing electronic signatures instead of “wet-ink” signatures, and Meetings of Creditors are taking place by telephone or videoconference. These measures are particularly helpful where “shelter in place” has been implemented, and they are consistent with the social distancing protocols.

In addition to monitoring measures in other states, I am trying to stay informed about the various economic relief opportunities available; the voluntary modifications & forbearance options offered by lenders; the new requirements and tax benefits for employers, and the explosion of new bankruptcy issues and strategies arising from this economic disaster.

The concerns raised in many of our calls last week have focused on employment, rental agreements, and bankruptcy options. As revenue has evaporated, it is more challenging for employers to make payroll, and layoffs are already occurring. In some instances, employers are proactively trying to avoid the new FMLA and paid leave obligations. Consequently, it’s becoming more difficult for families to pay their bills. Covid-19 economic relief bankruptcy

courtroom Covid-19 economic relief bankruptcyThe courtrooms might be empty, but we are still working.  If we can offer any assistance regarding these pending issues or any other concerns, please contact my office.

Please take care of each other and yourself. My family has and will continue to pray for everyone impacted by this pandemic. As we say, Peace be with you.