Update on Chapter 13 Operations in the Trenton Vicinage

I first wish to thank many of you who have expressed concerns and gratitude about continued operations of my Trustee office. 

We were fortunate to begin testing a remote working policy approximately 6 months ago. This enabled us to move more rapidly towards remote working ability for all of our staff.  As of Wednesday of last week, all employees are operational remotely and have access to their workstations and email. Telephone contact, however, continues to be limited and you are reminded to contact our office employees by way of email.  For an email list of key employees, please refer to the contact page on our website (www.russotrustee.com).

We were quick to adapt to remote 341 hearings.  On March 13 we posted a notice to conduct hearings via Zoom Videoconference.  We have modified our procedures to permit debtors and debtor attorneys to appear separately.  Please see the 341 policy posted on our website. It is strongly recommended that you test the process with your clients in advance of the hearing when advising your clients on the Zoom Videoconference procedure. This will allow a resolution of certain technical issues which may arise, such as having the Zoom program allowed access to the camera and microphone.

As you may know, Judge Kaplan’s March 17th calendar has been adjourned to March 31 and Judge Gravelle’s March 18th calendar has been adjourned to April 7th.  Beginning with Trenton Chapter 13 calendars scheduled for March 25th, and until further notice, all appearances will be conducted remotely by way of Court Solutions.  Please refer to the detailed Chapter 13 Motion and Confirmation Hearing Policy set forth on my website.

We are striving to continue Trustee and Chapter 13 Court Hearings by adapting procedures as required by this Covid emergency. We are fortunate to have established practices, such as our Calendar Disposition List, to enable us to adapt readily to this emergent situation. We welcome your input and comments and if there is anything that we can do to assist your bankruptcy operations, please let us know.

We are sure you are aware that our procedures are frequently adapting to the changing conditions. Therefore, we urge you to often review the Trustee’s website and the Bankruptcy Court’s website for updates.

Be safe.
Al Russo