During this time of a global health crisis, everyone is dealing with shutdowns of nonessential businesses, government organizations, and nonprofit services. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has also effectively forced the shutdown of most court operations in Minnesota. So, for example, if you are working through a civil case, contesting tickets and other civil infractions, or filing for bankruptcy, you will most likely have to adapt to some new court stipulations until the spread of the virus and infection rates decrease enough to merit the reopening of courts for normal operations. For those working through dire financial times that require filing for bankruptcy relief, the shutdown of businesses and loss of primary income can put them in an even more difficult financial footing. If you are struggling with a COVID-19-related case issue or are looking to file for bankruptcy, you can benefit from the guidance and advice of a Behm Law Group Ltd. expert bankruptcy attorney in New Ulm, MN.
Although the majority of shutdown statuses for nonessential operations are a day-to-day condition that may be extended or shortened with little notice, some rules currently outline the bankruptcy court and other legal processes.
Court Timeline from March to April
1. On March 13, the President declared a national emergency.
2. On March 27, the President signed the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act into law.
3. On March 29, the U.S. Court District of Minnesota declared the CARES Act will affect court actions generally in the coming future.
4. From March 30 to April 10, general orders No. 5 through No. 8 adjusted and outlined various ways COVID-19 will affect and change the court operations, including delays, cancellations, rescheduling, remote hearings, and closings.
5. On April 15, the court released general order No. 9, which delayed the majority of civil hearings, including bankruptcy court hearings, until after May 17.
While the court is officially “closed” for in-person bankruptcy hearings until after May 17, you do not need to wait until then to file for bankruptcy relief and any presently pending bankruptcy cases can be continued. In fact, you can file a petition with relative ease electronically through the court website. Additionally, you can work with a bankruptcy attorney via phone and remote communications to build a case that may be stronger and easier to file than an electronic non-bankruptcy case.
The issues you will most likely run into if you cannot wait to file for bankruptcy relief until the national emergency is lifted are any requirements that involve in-person contact with an attorney and the bankruptcy trustee. These requirements may include completing the credit counseling course, attending the meeting of the creditors, and any meetings with your attorney or trustee. To handle these potential issues, the majority of attorneys, creditors, trustees, and court representatives are offering remote meeting services through online conferencing programs.
If you are struggling with the financial hardships of the current pandemic, filing for bankruptcy is still an option even though the physical court is closed. To learn more about filing and working with a bankruptcy attorney in New Ulm, MN, during this time, contact Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.