By Ryan C. Wood
Amazingly the Federal Government shutdown is entering its 15th day. In the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California the Chief Judge, the Honorable Alan Jaroslovsky, issued an order on October 11, 2013, regarding the continued operations of the Court. A link to the General Order 28 is at the end of this article. So far we have experienced some slowdowns in certain areas, but it appears in the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California will continue for the most part uninterrupted.
The same cannot be said for the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California. According to Aaron Koenig, a bankruptcy lawyer in the Sacramento area, the Eastern District of California will no longer conduct 341 meeting of creditors or court hearings on or around October 21, 2013. That does not mean you will not be able to file for bankruptcy protection. The newly filed bankruptcy cases and bankruptcy cases still being administered will be halted in their tracks. This could have far reaching negative consequences for both debtors and creditors. Hopefully the Federal Government will appropriate some money for the Federals Courts this week.
Unfortunately we had a client forget to bring their social security card to their meeting of creditors last week. After your bankruptcy attorney files your bankruptcy petition you must attend a meeting of the creditors and provide a valid government identification card and proof of your social security number. When you receive the official notice of the date and time of the meeting of the creditors and other various deadlines it also says to bring proof of your social security number. Depending upon the Chapter 7 Trustee assigned to your case you may be able to use a W-2 or a government issued letter with your social security number listed. Most of the time a tax return will not be allowed.
The Chapter 7 Trustee assigned to our bankruptcy case was kind enough to question our client and then continue the meeting of the creditors to verify their social security number. Normally our client could go to the United States Trustee’s office in the same building anytime between the first meeting of the creditors and the continued meeting of the creditors and show the United States Trustee proof of their social security number. Due to the Federal Government shutdown the United States Trustee’s Office is closed. Granted the problem was created by our client, but now we may have to appear with our client at the continued meeting of the creditors.
Hopefully the Federal Government shutdown will come to an end soon and everything will go back to normal.