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Federal Government Shut Down and Bankruptcy Court

Posted on Sep 30, 2013

If you are thinking about filing bankruptcy here in New Jersey, or have already filed one, then you are probably wondering what will happen if the federal government shuts down tomorrow because no budget or continuing resolution was passed.  Although that concern is understandable, there is really no need to be worried in the short run.

Bear in mind that court filings are handled electronically by an automated computer system called CMS/ECF (Case Management System/Electronic Case Filing).  This will continue to function after today.  Issues will arise, however, depending on how long the shutdown lasts.

The news site for the federal courts has stated,

In the event of a government shutdown on October 1, 2013, the federal Judiciary will remain open for business for approximately 10 business days. On or around October 15, 2013, the Judiciary will reassess its situation and provide further guidance. All proceedings and deadlines remain in effect as scheduled, unless otherwise advised. Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) will remain in operation for the electronic filing of documents with courts.

Complete shutdowns of the government have been rare, and have not lasted long.  Therefore, I do not suspect there will be a major problem here.  However, if you have already filed bankruptcy, you can expect the following to happen:

  • Delays or cancellation of Meetings of Creditors;
  • Delays in confirmation of Chapter 13 Plans; and,
  • Delays or cancellation of bankruptcy court hearings.

The bottom line is, political pressure and public outcry will probably prevent the government from shutting down for two weeks.  As such, you will be able to file bankruptcy; you may just experience some delays along the way.

If you live in South Jersey and are considering filing bankruptcy, call my office at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site for a free consultation to discuss your case.

If you are looking for more information about bankruptcy, then download my free book,Top Questions People Ask About Filing Bankruptcy in New Jersey.

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