I hesitated to write about this subject as hoped this partial shutdown of the federal government would come to an end within a couple of weeks. However, this shutdown (now the longest in history) continues to drag on. Right now the federal courts (which include bankruptcy courts) continue to operate as normal. There was some concern that the courts would run out of money on Friday, but after further assessment the courts have enough money to stay fully operational through January 25th.
If this continues, however, there will be delays in hearings that were previously scheduled. This includes pretrial conferences, confirmation hearings, hearings on reaffirmation agreements, etc. In addition, the processing of discharges could grind to a halt. I am personally concerned if attorneys will be able to continue to use the courts’ electronic filing system or even if they will be allowed to manually file. For now I am rushing to clean up and file as many cases as possible before the money runs out. If you have been holding off on filing, now might be the time to make sure that a creditor can’t take action against you at a time when you will be unable to take shelter in bankruptcy.