The effect of the Coronavirus COVID-19 on federal bankruptcy courts in Oklahoma
The federal district courts in Oklahoma are working hard to ensure public access to the judicial system remains open to people who are filing for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy court for the Western District of Oklahoma has issued orders over the last two weeks implementing procedures and protocols already in place for limited court access. These procedures allow the courts to remain open for filings, 341 meetings of creditors, and hearings through the use of telephonic appearances by both attorneys and debtors whenever possible. The courts understand that the financial strains which prompt the need for people to file bankruptcy have only been exacerbated by recent public health issues. These financial strains remain and continue to mount during the epidemic facing our population. The rules of bankruptcy allow the debtor relief from such strains, often times stopping garnishments, foreclosures, and debtor harassment upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition. The federal courts in the Western District of Oklahoma have been swift and efficient in issuing orders assuring that this path to relief remains open to those who are in need of it.