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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 111489
Experience:  Attorney At Law handling education matters.
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I filed Chapter 13 on November 17. I just received a letter

Customer Question

I filed Chapter 13 on November 17. I just received a letter stating that the court has set a "Status Conference" for today. I am out of town and am going to try and make it, but my wife can't because she is out of state. Can I change the date, or should I drive back and go to the conference unprepared? It says that if I don't go, then they can dismiss the case and bar refilling... anything I can do? If not, what do I need to know about the status conference and what I have to produce or say????
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
You need to contact the clerk of the court immediately and ask for a continuance and explain you are out of town and just received the letter too late to make a change to appear. Most times on a status conference the court will be liberal in granting continuances, but you have to call. If you just fail to appear, they could dismiss your case and you cold have to refile.
At the status conference, you have to be prepared to show what the progress of the case is. What plans are being prepared and how close you are to submitting your plan with the trustee. You also need to contact the trustee and let them know if you cannot make the conference.
Typically, the court will grant the continuance though. All the conference is for is for the court to know the progress being made on coming up with the final plan and how much longer it will take.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Wow, I just filed it on 11/17 and they asked for it on 11/24. I will call the clerk and get it rescheduled.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Then this is an initial status conference, so the court will be even more inclined to continue it. At this conference the court is going to set a schedule of when everything needs to be completed. You just need to call the clerk for a continuance or ask to be allowed to appear by phone. The court is going to be very liberal about this.
At this hearing, the court is only going to ask the issues and set dates, so it is not a huge issue to continue it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I spoke with the clerk and she stated that it can not be moved. The judge ordered it on 11/17, the same day I filed. I left town for the holiday on 11/20 and I had a family memeber get the mail and the Order Setting Status Conference and Directing Compliance with Applicable Law.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
was in it. Why are they saying that I can't continue it? This really makes me mad as if I don't go, they can dismiss it and bar me from re-filing for 180 days.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

I do not know why they refuse to continue the matter as it is only a status conference. However, did you ask about a phone appearance as well. If not you will have to show up somehow since the judge seems to be one that is pretty stringent on what they want done (most are not that strict and will allow at least one continuance for good cause).