Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing and COVID-19

The United State District Court  Western District of Washington responded back in March of 2020 to the COVID-19 crisis by setting up procedures which in bankruptcy cases allowed debtors to make their appearances remotely.    On May 13, 2020 the Chief United States District Judge for United States District Court of the Western District of Washington further extended the proceedings under which remote appearances are allowed.   In bankruptcy chapter 7 cases this means that for the time being debtors are appearing by telephone at the 341 creditor meetings instead of being required to appear in person.   I have represented debtors at a number of these meetings by setting up a 3 way phone call which makes it easy and convenient for the debtor to appear.   The process can feel intimidating to a debtor who is faced with an unfamiliar situation to begin with and then has the added task of appearing remotely.   I take additional time  to go over the proceedings in advance with my clients so that they feel prepared and comfortable when the time comes for them to appear at the meeting.