These are stressful times. Businesses are shutting down. Paychecks are being reduced or stopped all together. The stock market is erratic. Families and individuals are being faced with challenges never imagined. It seems that we can no longer depend upon so many things we took for granted just a short time ago. With all that is going on, we want you to know that the attorneys and staff at the Bond & Botes Law Offices are engaged and prepared to help you with whatever the future may bring. You should also know that the courts, judges and other court personnel are making every effort possible to accommodate the needs of individuals who have been impacted by this crisis.
All of the above having been said, and with the knowledge that so many of you have concerns, please be aware that it will sometimes be impossible to respond to everyone’s individual questions and inquiries as promptly as we would like. In some instances, this will be because our own team has been depleted by illness. In others, it will be due to the sheer magnitude of questions asked. But in large respect, we simply don’t know exactly what the future holds. Although we will continue to do our best to respond to all questions as promptly as possible, we will also attempt to post updates on our blog as things move forward. In response to some of the questions we have received thus far:
Court Hearings and Meetings of Creditors
If you have an upcoming court hearing or meeting of creditors scheduled, please be aware that many cases are being continued or will be held by telephone. It is thus essential that you be in touch with our offices so that we can let you know how your hearing will be affected. Look for our phone calls, text messages or emails and be sure to follow up so that we can let you know how your case will be handled. If for some reason you do not hear from us, please call our office so that we can help you.
Chapter 13 Plan Payments
As noted above, many of our clients have experienced, or will experience, interruptions in income as the pandemic goes on. Please know that we are aware of this. Your health and the health of your family, of course, is the biggest priority. Simply do the best you can to make your bankruptcy plan payments, or if you get behind, resume them as quickly as possible. If you do get behind, a motion may eventually be filed to dismiss your case. If this happens, we will counsel with you and do our best to prevent the dismissal. Please know that our courts are also aware of and sympathetic to the plight you are facing. We do not expect many dismissals to occur in the short term and will make every effort possible to assist you once things are back on track.
Meeting with our Attorneys
In the immediate future, we will be following government guidelines and restricting in person meetings to the greatest extent possible. Please know that this is being done to protect everyone – our clients, our own team members and others we will come into contact with going forward. If you need to talk to one of our attorneys, we will attempt to handle communications by telephone, email or text communications. Please be patient as we do our very best to follow up on all concerns just as quickly as possible.
My partner, Ron Sykstus, put together an excellent post you can view here with some general guidance worth considering. For an outside-the-firm resource, Bing has put together this tool to help keep up to date with the latest information regarding COVID-19 and relevant local news.
The Bond & Botes Law Offices have been helping people facing financial challenges for over thirty years. We have always tried to treat our clients like family and with the respect you deserve. My prayer is that we will all get through the current situation safely. Please know that we will be doing our part to make this happen.
Good luck and God bless,
Bradford W. Botes
Brad Botes is a principal of each of the Bond & Botes Law Offices throughout Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of North Alabama, and a Juris Doctorate from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. He and his team of bankruptcy lawyers have spent over 30 years guiding people through financial challenges. Read his full bio here.