Natural Disasters and BAPCPA
The consequences of a natural disaster can be devastating; the harm suffered by innocent victims can be physical, emotional, and financial. When the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act was passed, it made no accommodations for victims of natural disasters who needed to file for bankruptcy. After the consequences of Hurricane Katrina made it clear that BAPCPA regulations needed to be modified, emergency measures were adopted to help suffering victims.
Now, there are guidelines established by the US Trustee’s office to alleviate bankruptcy under catastrophic conditions. If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, knowing the law is an important first step. Contact the Birmingham bankruptcy lawyers of Greenway Bankruptcy Law, LLC today at (205) 324-4000 to learn more.
Changes to BAPCPA
If a disaster impairs a debtor’s ability to pursue bankruptcy, BAPCPA regulations may be loosened to provide much needed financial stability. In extreme circumstances, the US Trustee’s office has authorized the following changes:
Lost documents are not blamed on the debtor
The means test is modified to account for disaster-related damages
Credit counseling is not necessary
The US Trustee’s office may set up communication between creditors and debtors when communication might otherwise be impossible
As the Trustee’s office is responsible for the execution of bankruptcy law, these additions to BAPCPA are generally considered applicable in court. However, these changes are not law. Judges are allowed to suspend these guidelines and apply the original BAPCPA regulations if they deem that decision prudent.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, contact the Birmingham bankruptcy attorneys of Greenway Bankruptcy Law, LLC at (205) 324-4000 to discuss your future with a legal professional today.