US trustee directs all 341A hearings thru April 10 be postponed due to virus

THESE are trying times indeed. We have been advised to self-isolate in the meantime that we are waging a war against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Sure, social distancing makes a whole lot of sense. But what happens to all those new bankruptcy cases I just filed on behalf of my clients with 341A hearings coming up next week? Well, the U.S. Trustee has just directed all lawyers that all 341A hearings scheduled between March 17 to April 10 will be continued or postponed to some undetermined date in the future.

From a practical standpoint, it’s good to keep on filing cases to obtain the bankruptcy automatic stay to freeze all collection efforts by creditors, stop levies, wage garnishments, and foreclosures. In normal times, the 341A hearing would happen a month after filing of the bankruptcy case. But these are not normal times. So we would expect that the U.S. Trustee would do whatever is necessary to make these hearings as safe as possible. Maybe seats would now be at least six feet apart?

I think it’s best for everyone to follow the golden as God has told us. This will help us get through this national and worldwide crisis.

What I would like to say is: Whatever happened to the golden rule? “Do unto others as you would they do unto you.” That’s in Mathew 7:12. That’s my basic principle in life.

I expect that small businesses will start having financial problems very soon. Restaurants and retailers are seeing a 50% reduction in revenues in the last month. But rent has to be paid when they come due. Even temporary loans to tide things over might help. But what happens when a business does not pickup? Bills cannot be paid and landlords are not charity organizations. The restaurants that I go to that are normally packed on weekends are almost empty on weekends.

When push comes to shove on a business or personal level, when bills can no longer get paid, seriously consider bankruptcy relief. It’s the only game in town that provides instant and permanent relief from accumulated debt. Unfortunately, small businesses cannot rely on government bailouts like the airline industry.

Bankruptcy is not the end. It’s a new beginning, a fresh start in life, without the burden of accumulated debt. Your business may owe hundreds of thousands of bills that it can no longer pay, or you as an individual may owe maybe $20,000 of credit card debt that you could never get out of. It’s time for debt relief and a fresh start.

My last client just wiped out $200,000 of business and credit card debt. I have another client that I just filed a case for with $175,000 of credit cards that were all used for running his business that is just recently defunct.

I also just filed a Chapter 7 for a single mom making $70,000 gross a year with a $400,000 house in the Inland Empire. She’s going to discharge $60,000 of credit cards. Bank of America has filed a lawsuit to collect $15,000. She’s been paying almost $2,000 a month for the last five years to keep these cards current. That’s $24,000 a year for five years, or a total of $120,000. Yet she still owes the same $60,000 today. It’s time for her to wipe out these credit cards because they are just too much of a burden for her. Her net income is $4,000 a month. Credit card payments eat up 50% of her net income! That’s not right, credit card virus eating away her hard-earned money. Fortunately, there is an antidote for credit card virus: Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.

Chapter 7 gives her a fresh start in life without the burden of having $60,000 of credit cards while she keeps her $400,000 house and everything else that she owns including her two cars, and $100,000 retirement account.

Another client owes $20,000 of credit cards and also owns a house with no equity. He is retired but his wife still makes about $10,000 a month. He still needs to wipe out the $20,000 because it’s eating up $600 of his retirement income every month.

If you need debt relief, please set an appointment. I will analyze your case personally.

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Lawrence Bautista Yang specializes in Bankruptcy, Business, Real Estate and Civil Litigation, and has successfully represented more than five thousand clients in California. Please call Angie, Barbara or Jess at (626) 284-1142 for an appointment at 20274 Carrey Road, Walnut, CA 91789 or 1000 S. Fremont Ave., Mailstop 58, Building A-10 South Suite 10042, Alhambra, CA 91803. 

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