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Video Transcribed: Oklahoma City Bankruptcy Attorney Edward Kelley here at 888 Debtline, answering your bankruptcy questions, as always, finishing up another series on why this may be the perfect time for you to file. Why this may be a once in a lifetime opportunity for you to qualify for a seven or have a manageable chapter 13 payment, so the silver lining of this frightening Coronavirus epidemic. So, finishing up the series, just going to do an overview.
We talked about four amazing reasons why this could be the best time for you to file. Number one, stimulus check, 1200 for you, 500 per child. And bankruptcy attorneys taking into account financial situations. I know I certainly am.
So you may have the ability to file a bankruptcy to have that attorney fee when you had no expectation whatsoever you would be able to. So, that’s reason number one. Number two, your income being down. If you’ve been furloughed or laid off either temporarily or permanently, if your hours have been severely cut, if you’re working from home much less than you would have been, that’s a difficult thing.
However, if you were close to the cutoff point in income for a chapter seven, chances are you now qualify. And even if you’re still over, if your projected income is now going to be under the cutoff based on having no expectation of future employment, trustees are taking that very much into account given the crisis nature of this pandemic. So you very well may be able to get in under and be able to do that chapter 7 liquidation done and walk away.
Chapter 13 that lowered income means lower payment for five years. That can turn into many, many thousands of dollars in savings over the course of your plan. So, that’s reason number two. Reason number three, everything can be done remotely. Bankruptcy has always been an e-file process and has only really required typically one physical appearance in front of the panel trustee for the 341 creditor meeting.
Of course, in many cases, if you’re in a remote part of the state, that might mean quite a physical haul. Well, now all of those are being done telephonically because of the shelter in place and no contact rules. So you can, and I’m not exaggerating, file bankruptcy without leaving your home. You can get in contact with me or some other bankruptcy attorney, set up your file. I can do everything via email and scanner or fax.
There are some original they call them wet signatures required. Those can be done by mail, so I suppose you’ll have to step outside to your mailbox. But your hearing will be done by telephone. And if you have any sort of further court appearance, which would be very unusual, that’s either by telephone or put off until down the road until this pandemic is over. But, generally, without leaving your house, you can now file a bankruptcy, which is not something that’s probably going to last.
What did I leave about? Income down… Oh, and the fourth reason, the last one we’re talking about in this series is, and I’ve never seen this in my life, but most if not all secured creditors are offering some kind of forbearance, forgiveness, putting a payment at the end of a loan, giving you a breather.
So the combination of having this breather in your daily expenses, being able to afford an attorney, and I know I and many attorneys are discounting rates based on what you can do in this crisis time, the fact that you can do everything without leaving your house, and your lowered or stopped income, all of these things make this an unprecedented and unique time to file a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy.