I know that many of you are concerned about how this COVID 19 virus situation may affect your bankruptcy or proposal with us. It certainly has created a situation none of us could have foreseen – even just a week or two ago.
First let me say that our overwhelming priority is the safety of both you and our staff and to do our part to help the country contain, control and hopefully defeat this pandemic. Our next priority is to try to do what we can to see that the bankruptcy or proposal you filed with us is not adversely affected by the restrictions and limitations we all have to live with. We all share the responsibility of doing everything we can to slow and hopefully stop the spread of the virus -- to flatten the curve, as they say. Common sense tells us that the recommendations made by the health authorities, such as limiting interpersonal contact and practicing social distancing, are necessary to limit the transmission of the virus.
So, effective last Friday we at Richard Killen & Associates closed all our offices to any walk-in traffic. That should eliminate the interpersonal contact factor. Our staff will be working mostly from home, but occasionally at the office with social distancing rules in effect. Though these conditions are under constant review, they will likely be in place until April 6th, 2020.
However, this does not mean that we will not be there for you. We will continue to be available by telephone, fax and emails. The Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB) has loosened certain operating restriction with regard to face-to-face meeting requirements. Most of these can now be done by telephone, Skype or email – at least for the duration of this crisis. If you have a counselling session or other meeting scheduled with us we will be contacting you to make arrangements to do it by telephone or video conference. Or, you can call us yourself to arrange things.
Be assured that even though our offices are closed to traffic, our people are working to do everything they can to assist you in successfully completing the legal requirements of your proposal or bankruptcy. Be it monthly payments, attending mandatory counselling, providing the tax information for your bankruptcy or simply answering questions we will be here to respond to your needs.
Along with lifting its meeting requirements as mentioned above, we know the OSB is aware of the unique circumstances created by this pandemic, especially as it might negatively affect your ability to perform the obligations you took on when filing either your bankruptcy or proposal. We hope to see some new directions which will help you through this unique situation. We will keep you informed of this as we hear it.
Here are some guidelines for you in dealing with us while our offices are closed:
- Send all documents to us by email or fax.
- This includes your tax filing info,
- And monthly Income & Expense statements
- If you have been dealing with our Lawrence office the email is firstname.lastname@example.org, the fax is (416) 285-9564 and phone is (416) 285-9511.
- If you have been dealing with our Brampton or Mississauga offices the email is email@example.com, the fax is (905) 456-2885 and phone is (905) 456-3311
- Do not mail or drop off any cash payments to our offices.
- You can send payments to us by e-transfer.
- Payments can also be made by good-old-fashioned cheques or
- Contact our office to set up a pre-authorized debit from your bank.
If have any questions – and you probably will -- don’t hesitate to call us. Hopefully you won’t have any issues with your bankruptcy or proposal. But many of you will. Lay-offs or other employment problems, along with any number of other issues may arise to obstruct the successful completion of your proposal or bankruptcy. If anything like that arises, or looks like it will arise, call us as soon as you know. Try to get ahead of it. The earlier we hear about this from you the better chance we will have to help you get around the problem.
And finally, call us if you have any questions and STAY SAFE.
Richard Killen, LIT, CIRP
March 21st, 2020