Law Office of Matthew C. Swanson, P.C.


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How Will the Government Shutdown Affect My Bankruptcy?

As we are entering the second week of the government shutdown, we seem to have more questions than answers regarding the impact of the shutdown on the bankruptcy Courts, those involved in active bankruptcy cases, and potential filers.  Since the Department of Justice falls under the wing of the “non-essential” government departments, there is reason for bankruptcy filers and potential bankruptcy filers to be alarmed.  On September 26, 2013, The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts for the Federal Judiciary issued the following statement:

“Following 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.”

What does this mean?  Prior to October 15th, everything should remain the same.  All creditors meetings will continue as scheduled.  Beginning October 15th, however, we can anticipated that all bankruptcy proceedings will be delayed.  All non-critical civil litigation will be postponed and non-essential court employees may be put on unpaid leave.

If you are in an active bankruptcy, your creditors meeting could be delayed or cancelled, it may take longer for your chapter 13 plan to be confirmed, and it may take longer for the final discharge to be entered (to name a few).  There will be a (minimal) staff available at the Bankruptcy Court to perform essential functions, including accepting new cases and proceedings for filing and hearing cases and controversies where essential to protect property.

If you have any further questions on how you may be impacted, please call the Law Office of Matthew C. Swanson.


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I was in the midst of a very challenging financial situation that it appeared there was no way out of and I was convinced that I would lose everything and still owe a boat loan of money. Attorney Swanson was able to sort through my mess and he offered very useful advice he executed a plan to get me out of the situate I had gotten myself into. His legal expertise saved me and protected my home. I look forward to the opportunity to refer him to somebody in a similar situation so that they too can seek some relief.



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