Corona virus Spurs Changes to the Bankruptcy Code

The President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) on March 27, 2020.  Bankruptcy is Federal Law and the Federal Government added some provisions to the Cares Act to help people in Bankruptcy that are affected by the economic downturn in San Jose, Santa Cruz and the bay area brought on by the Shelter in Place orders.  The added provisions will assist a person who is in a confirmed Chapter 13 Plan to waive payments.  The relevant Bankruptcy Code Section is 11 USC 1329.  That code section deals with modifying the terms of a confirmed Chapter 13 Plan, and what is allowed when such modifications are proposed to the Court.  There was an amendment to this section under the Cares Act that will sunset in March of 2021.  The provision allows Chapter 13 Plans to be amended to allow for a term greater than 60 months, which is the present term limit.  The new provision expressly allows modified plans that are filed and noticed before March 2021 to extend for seven years, instead of the five year term that is currently allowed.