Due to the public health crisis related to COVID-19, Lynda T. Bui, Panel Bankruptcy Trustee, is implementing the following temporary policies and procedures with respect to ALL Section 341(a) Meetings of Creditors in cases assigned to her, which policies and procedures will take effect immediately.
Given Governor Newsom’s Stay-at-Home order, the physical meeting location for the 341a meetings will be closed. The only way to participate in the 341a meeting is virtually. That is, all of Trustee Bui’s 341a meetings scheduled through July 10, 2020 will be conducted virtually by Zoom video or tele-conference.
All parties are encouraged to familiarize themselves with how to join a meeting at https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-Joining-a-Meeting and using Zoom at https://zoom.us/. It is recommended that you test out your audio and video capabilities well in advance of the hearing.
Please note that these temporary policies and procedures do not affect a debtor’s requirement to submit and provide all other necessary documents to the Court, the Trustee and the U.S. Trustee’s Office. Please check back often as these procedures may be modified due to the developing situation of COVID-19.
Virtual Zoom Meeting, Email Invitation and Procedures
Prior to the virtual Zoom meeting, a Zoom email invitation will be sent to counsel at the email address that was used for filing the bankruptcy petition for the debtor. The Trustee will also send an email to pro se debtors who have given their email addresses to the Trustee’s office.
That invitation will provide three options to enter the Zoom meeting on the scheduled date and time of the 341a meeting:
(1) a link to connect to the meeting via your browser (you may have to download the Zoom app);
(2) a meeting number and password to connect through the Zoom app; and
(3) a dial in number if you cannot enter the meeting via the link or the application.
Dial in Numbers: (669) 900-6833 or (408) 638 0968
Please check the email invitation for each 341a meeting because the access information may change based on the hour and number of the 341a meetings held on a given day.
After you join the meeting, please rename the “participant” with your name and your relationship in the case(i.e. debtor, attorney, or creditor). Please join the meeting 10 minutes before the hour. We will take roll call before the hour so it is best that you and your client appear at that time to avoid delays (always anticipate technical difficulties).
We will post the calendar at least one business day before the hearing so you know your matter number and can follow along.
Counsel will be responsible for working out the logistics with their clients and making sure that the audio and video capabilities work.
Guidelines to Follow for Video/Telephone Conference
As a matter of professional courtesy for all participants and the process, please observe the following video/telephone guidelines:
a. Mute the video/audio while you are waiting for your meeting to begin.
b. Speak one at a time, clearly and hold the camera steady, if applicable.
c. Limit all background noise while your meeting is being held.
d. Do not use a speaker phone unless two or more persons are appearing on
the same line, i.e., debtor and co-debtor.
e. Participants will join the video/audio session in the virtual waiting room and
will be invited into the meeting room when their case is called. As soon as
you join, the Trustee and her staff can see you on their screen. Please be
patient if you are not admitted into the room immediately. This is especially
true if you are late.
f. Debtor(s) and counsel must be at a set location, and not in transit, so that
their full attention can be given to the questions being asked.
g. High speed internet access is recommended.
h. Only debtor(s), their counsel, creditors and/or interested parties will be
invited into the 341a meeting by the Trustee or her staff. If there are third
parties at the same location as the debtor(s) (e.g. “moral support” persons),
they should not respond to any questions at any time during the 341a
meeting or supplement any answers provided by the debtor(s).
i. Any telephonic or video appearances by debtor(s) represented by counsel
without their counsel also present at the 341a meeting on the
conference/call at the appointed time will result in a continuance.
j. Attorneys for the debtor(s) must share their invitation information for
participation in the video or teleconferencing 341a meeting with their clients
(debtor(s)) and any creditors wishing to participate in the 341a meeting that
have contacted them).
k. Debtor(s) must bring their ID and an original SSN to the virtual 341a
meeting if they fail to send in copies of them to the Trustee.
l. During the virtual 341a meeting, debtor(s) should have access to copies of
signature pages and the entire copies of the Voluntary Petition, Declaration
of Schedules, Statement of Financial Affairs, and Form 22A (Means Test
Required Documents Before the Examination and Required Examination
The only significant change to the 341a meeting in response to the COVID-19 pandemic is that the meeting has been moved from in-person to virtual. All other aspects of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case remain the same. For example and consistent with the Trustee’s in-person 341a meetings, pursuant to her requirements and the Bankruptcy Code and Rules, debtor(s) must provide the following documents to the Trustee seven (7) days prior to the scheduled 341a meeting:
1. True and correct copies of the debtor(s)’ last filed tax returns;
2. If the debtor(s) has not filed a tax return for more than 5 years, a
declaration under penalty of perjury stating the year the debtor(s) last filed
a tax returns (e.g. a tax return was filed in 2015 for tax year 2014).
3. True and correct complete copies of the debtor(s)’ latest monthly
statement(s) that include the balance in the account on the petition date for
all financial accounts (e.g. checking accounts, savings accounts, PayPal,
brokerage accounts, etc.) at all financial institutions (e.g. Wells Fargo, Chase
Bank, Bank of America, Navy Credit Union, etc.). If debtor(s) does not have
any financial accounts, please provide a written statement advising that no
financial account exists.
4. If debtor(s) owns real estate, true and correct copy(ies) of the latest
mortgage statement(s) against each property.
5. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic and virtual meetings, the debtor(s) will
need to complete and submit these additional documents 7 days prior to
the initial 341a meeting (all blank documents can be uploaded at the bottom
of this page):
ID/SSN (with proper copies of ID/SSN);
c. Completed DSO Questionnaire if the debtor or co-debtor is
required by an order to pay child support or spousal support; and
d. Completed Declaration Re Debtor(s) Without Attorney BPP Form
Please upload these completed documents into Trustee Bui’s Stretto portal 7 days prior to the initial 341a meeting. All attorneys who practice before Trustee Bui should have access to this portal. Please contact our office if you do not.
Debtor(s) who are not represented by counsel may deliver the above completed documents along with a copy of your driver’s license and social security card to the Trustee’s office:
If sending via US Mail: 3550 Vine Street, Suite 210, Riverside, CA 92507.
If sending via email: Lynda.Bui@caselinkweb.com. The subject line of the email should be the debtor(s) last name and the 7 digit case number (e.g. Wooten; 20-12345). If the subject line does not have this information, there will be a delay in processing.
If we do not have completed documents when they are due, your matter will be continued. Accordingly, please submit them as soon as you are able to avoid having your matter continued.
Finally and consistent with the Trustee’s in-person meetings, every debtor must read the Bankruptcy Information Sheet (English/Spanish) and be ready to testify to reading the document. Languages other than English and Spanish can be downloaded here https://www.justice.gov/ust/bankruptcy-information-sheet-0. If the debtor fails to read the Bankruptcy Information Sheet, his or her matter will be continued or recalled (depending on the Trustee’s calendar for the day).
Notice to Creditors
Creditors who would like to participate may obtain access information by contacting the Trustee’s office via email (preferred) at Clerk.Spencer@shulmanbastian.com or Tr.Wooten@shulmanbastian.com or via telephone at 949-340-3400.
Request for a Continuance
In the event that a debtor and/or their attorney is unable to appear at the 341a meeting on their scheduled date and time, please request a continuance via email to: Tr.Wooten@shulmanbastian.com. Please include a reason for the continuance and the approximate length of the requested continuance. You will be notified via email if your request is granted. Please be prepared to sign a stipulation to continue any appropriate deadlines (e.g. deadline to object to the discharge) tied to the 341a meeting.
Thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation in implementing these temporary changes during this crisis. We appreciate you working with us through these trying and unchartered times.