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Filing for Bankruptcy During COVID-19

POSTED ON JANUARY 21, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on people’s lives all over the world. In addition to the obvious health risks posed by the coronavirus, government-mandated lockdowns have left many people jobless. As a result, some people’s financial situations have spun out of control, forcing them to consider filing for bankruptcy. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in Chicago, below is some information on how to do so during COVID-19.

Finding a Bankruptcy Attorney

If you’re planning on filing for bankruptcy during COVID-19, things will be more complicated than they would under normal circumstances, so you should strongly consider hiring a bankruptcy attorney to assist you. However, the pandemic has also changed the process for hiring an attorney, so you should be prepared to take a few extra steps. For example, in-person interviews with prospective attorneys may not be an option, so you may have to rely on referrals from friends, family members, and associates. However, if a prospective attorney is available to meet in person, make sure you understand and adhere to the law firm’s safety protocols before attending your initial consultation. When you interview attorney candidates, be sure to find out if there are any additional ways that COVID-19 will affect their ability to represent you in your bankruptcy case.

Preparing to File for Bankruptcy

After you choose an attorney, you’ll work with him or her either in person or by phone or videoconference to prepare your bankruptcy petition. Using the information that you provide, he or she will prepare your final petition and review it with you for accuracy. Once you have reviewed the bankruptcy petition and confirmed that it is accurate, you will be required to sign it under penalty of perjury. Therefore, it’s important to be completely truthful with your attorney and ensure that your bankruptcy petition is as accurate as possible.

Finalizing Your Bankruptcy Case

After your attorney files your Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition with the court, all you have to do is wait for your discharge, which is the order that wipes out your debt.

If you’ve filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, your attorney will appear at a Chapter 13 confirmation meeting either by telephone or videoconference. You may be required to appear at this meeting also depending on the circumstances. If the bankruptcy court approves your repayment plan, all that will be left for you to do is make the payments according to the agreed-upon schedule.

Use credit responsibly

Although this may seem counterintuitive, using credit after bankruptcy can actually help increase your credit score—if you make your payments on time. Generally, this means that you should pay for small expenses with a credit card—and then pay off the entire balance on your due date. As a bankruptcy filer, you must be extremely careful here—the last thing you want to do is let your debt get out of control. However, if you use your credit in a responsible manner, your score will certainly increase over time.

Contact Our Experienced Chicago Bankruptcy Attorneys

If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy in Chicago, Illinois, you need an experienced Chicago bankruptcy attorney in your corner. At Chicago Bankruptcy Clinic, our experienced and knowledgeable Chicago bankruptcy attorneys will handle all the details of your Chicago bankruptcy case, ensuring that no important details are overlooked. When you come to us for help, you can rest assured that we’ll do everything in our power to achieve a positive outcome in your bankruptcy case. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our talented Chicago bankruptcy attorneys.

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