22 Jul Filing bankruptcy is a 24 hour business.
Bankruptcy cases are filed electronically over the internet. At any time, from anywhere. 24 hours a day, including Saturday, Sunday and holidays. Years ago, one had to physically deliver paper petitions to the courthouse. Long as I remember, the bankruptcy clerk accepted those new case petitions 24 hours a day. Court houses had an open door policy with a case filing drop box. At some point a timestamp machine became available to print the date and time the papers were left at the courthouse.
Today, the court uses an electronic document filing system. One logs into the system and uploads all sorts of documents in a .pdf file format. The system even emails back a receipt showing the date, time, and document number of the item filed. Reportedly, the City of Detroit filed bankruptcy five minutes before a state court judge convened a hearing on an injunction to stop the city from filing bankruptcy.
We never close. The electronic filing system operates 24 hours a day.
Internet technology and mobile computing allow todayâ€™s tech savvy lawyer world wide access to this filing system. Bankruptcy cases and documents are filed on land, at sea and high up in the mountain air, at all hours of day and night.
Bankruptcy is not a 9 to 5 job. Such access can be confounding to others outside bankruptcy practice who wake to notice of a bankruptcy filing that seems to have been filed overnight-because it was.
While state court judges sleep, debtors in pending lawsuits file bankruptcy overnight, or on weekends, primarily to stop those lawsuits. A colleague reports filing a bankruptcy case for her client on a Saturday before trial, then appearing in state court that next Monday to provide the judge with notice of that bankruptcy. A surprised judge reportedly remarked how unusual it was to file bankruptcy on a weekend. No, not at all.
Going mobile: “Out in the woods, or in the city, itâ€™s all the same to me.” [Thanks Pete Townsend.]
Office hours are a thing of the past. Attorneys attending bankruptcy seminars meet deadlines filing bankruptcy documents from their hotel in their free time. Another colleague regularly files bankruptcy cases from his boat in a Connecticut harbor using an iPad. [Similar computing devices work also.] And the system permits world travelers access, such as the lawyer who filed a bankruptcy case for a client while on vacation in Italy. Personally, I enjoy filing cases from a resort overlooking my favorite trout stream.
Whenever one needs to file bankruptcy, the court system will accept your documents, whatever time of day.
Andy Miofsky, Esq.
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