Can I file bankruptcy from home? Yes. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the Bankruptcy process could be completed without a visit to one of our 8 offices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. At this time, due to the “341 Meeting of Creditors” being held over Zoom, this allows the Bankruptcy filer to complete the Bankruptcy process fully remotely.
Although possible, before 2020 it was extremely rare that our lawyers would consult with a client using Zoom or via the telephone. How quickly things change. At this time, almost 100% of our consultations regarding Bankruptcy, Debt Relief, or Foreclosure are held telephonically.
There are several advantages to meeting with a lawyer over the phone or Zoom, including:
- People are more likely to reach out for help. Speaking via electronic means mitigates any apprehension one would otherwise have when discussing finances and debt. We realize reaching out to a lawyer is not easy to do, but knowing only a phone conversation is needed increases the chances of someone reaching out for help.
- Time efficiency. Having the consultation over the phone eliminates the need to drive to an office, possibly sit in traffic, and commute back home or to work. Although Sadek Law Offices strives to have an office within close proximity to the residents and businesses in the Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey areas, if one has a 30-minute drive to and from one of our locations, the remote consultation saves the potential client one hour of their day.
- Flexibility in Scheduling. A remote consultation takes 15-20 minutes of the potential client and lawyer’s time. Accordingly, the consultation can be scheduled during a lunch break or before or after your working hours.
Although remote consultations with a lawyer are the most convenient, there is a disadvantage.
- Lack of Personal Relationships. One of my favorite things about being a lawyer, specifically when it comes to Bankruptcy, is being able to explain the legal process and how it will transform one’s financial situation for the better.
When it comes to Bankruptcy, unlike many other areas of law, the process and what is foreseeable to happen can be explained at an initial consultation. In person, the legal process can be most effectively communicated to a potential client. Seeing the relief my clients enjoy, from my advice, is something I greatly miss.
The Bankruptcy “341 Hearing” is now via Zoom.
Before 2020, the mandatory Bankruptcy hearing called a “341 Hearing” and conducted by a trustee was held in a Courthouse or a meeting room. On this page, you can find information about the purpose of a 341 Meeting, who is required to attend, and the time and location of the meeting. Also, prior to 2020 a Bankruptcy filer had to take a morning or afternoon off of work to physically attend the 341 Hearing. In addition to the attendance, the bankruptcy filer had the burden of parking and navigating unfamiliar surroundings while going through an already stressful situation.
At this time, all 341 Hearings for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcies are held via zoom. The remote hearings held via Zoom allow a Bankruptcy filer to not miss a morning or afternoon of work and are able to participate in the bankruptcy process from the comfort and privacy of their own surroundings. Although not in person, it is essential that our clients are well prepared for a 341 Hearing for the hearing to receive a successful bankruptcy outcome.
If you are considering Bankruptcy or in need of a debt relief plan due to increasing monthly payments or a delinquency on a home or car, please call the lawyers at Sadek Bankruptcy Law Offices at 215-545-0008 in PA or 856-890-9003 in NJ for assistance. We look forward to helping you!