When facing financial emergencies, filing for bankruptcy may be the best course of action. Although it is a serious decision that requires careful consideration of all debt-relief options, sometimes there is not enough time to do so. In such cases, filing for bankruptcy fast may be the only way to prevent a much worse situation from happening.
Some situations that may require an emergency bankruptcy petition include pending foreclosure sales, vehicle repossession, debt collection lawsuits, IRS tax levies or seizures, wage garnishment, creditor or court property seizures, business closure, and bank account or asset freezes by taxing authorities or other government entities.
If you find yourself in an emergency situation, the best thing to do is to consult with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. They can quickly assess your situation and explain your options for preventing the situation from getting worse, including filing for bankruptcy relief. Consulting with an attorney before filing an emergency bankruptcy petition is crucial because they can help you:
- Confirm that filing for bankruptcy will resolve your problem;
- Determine if other options, such as debt settlement or debt management, may be better suited for your situation;
- Review bankruptcy exemptions to determine if any of your property is at risk of being seized by a Chapter 7 trustee;
- Determine if you qualify to file for Chapter 7 or if you need to file for Chapter 13 to resolve your problem; and,
- Discuss the consequences of filing for bankruptcy at the moment.
If you decide that filing for bankruptcy is the best way to deal with your situation, you can quickly file an emergency bankruptcy petition. Remember, even in an emergency, filing for bankruptcy is a serious decision that requires careful consideration of all options. Therefore, consult with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to make the best decision for your financial future.
1) How Much Does Bankruptcy Cost and Do You Qualify?
If you're struggling with debt, you may have considered filing for bankruptcy. However, you may be wondering whether you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and how much it will cost. Luckily, we have a solution for you. We've created a bankruptcy cost and qualification calculator that uses means testing forms to help you estimate your eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
2) What is an Emergency Bankruptcy Petition?
When it comes to bankruptcy, lawyers often use the term "skeleton" case to refer to an emergency bankruptcy petition. This is because the filing only includes the essential information needed to obtain a bankruptcy case number. The term "skeleton" implies that the filing is just the bare bones of what's required. However, it's enough to trigger the automatic stay, which prevents creditors from taking any further actions to collect debts without approval from the bankruptcy court. Essentially, an emergency bankruptcy petition is a way to quickly stop creditor actions and buy some time to sort out your financial situation.
Emergency Chapter 13 Filing
When filing for bankruptcy, there are several schedules and statements that one needs to include in their petition. These documents vary depending on the type of bankruptcy you file for, but generally include:
- Voluntary Bankruptcy Petition
- Certificate of Credit Counseling
- Statement Regarding Social Security Numbers
- List of Creditors (Mailing Matrix)
- Schedules A & B – List of all property and assets owned by the debtor
- Schedules D, E, & F – List of all creditors, including addresses, account numbers, and amounts owed
- Schedule G – List of executory contracts
- Schedule H – List of co-debtors
- Schedules I & J – Income and expenses
- Summary of Assets and Liabilities
- Declaration Regarding Schedules
- Statement of Financial Affairs (Provides answers to over two dozen financial questions)
- The statement of Current Monthly Income and Means Test
- Statement of Intention (Chapter 7 cases)
- Chapter 13 Plan (Chapter 13 cases)
- Copies of pay stubs and evidence of income
It's important to note that additional documents may be required depending on the jurisdiction and your specific case. However, in most jurisdictions, you can obtain a case number by filing the following:
- Voluntary Bankruptcy Petition
- Statement About Social Security Numbers
- Certificate of Credit Counseling
- Mailing Matrix (list of creditors)
- Bankruptcy Filing Fee
If you're not working with a bankruptcy lawyer, it's best to check with the bankruptcy court that will handle your case to verify the documents required to file an emergency bankruptcy case. Keep in mind that the remaining bankruptcy documents must be filed within 14 days, and failing to file them will result in the court dismissing your bankruptcy case.
3) How Can You Help Speed Up the Process of Filing A Bankruptcy Case?
If you're considering filing for bankruptcy, there are a few things you can do to speed up the process. The most important thing is to respond promptly to your bankruptcy lawyer's requests for information and documents. The faster you provide your lawyer with the necessary information, the faster he can complete your bankruptcy filing.
Your bankruptcy lawyer may be able to obtain some of the information he needs from your credit reports and county tax records. However, there is certain information that you will need to provide. Here's a checklist of information and documents you'll need to provide to your bankruptcy lawyer to file for bankruptcy quickly:
- Certificate of Completion for your Credit Counseling Course
- Copies of tax returns
- Copies of bank statements and other financial accounts
- Copies of six months of pay stubs and other evidence of income
- A current list of bills, including mortgages, car loans, taxes, etc.
- Copies of deeds to real estate and titles to vehicles
- Description of assets with a value for each asset and whether the asset was used as collateral for a loan
- Copies of all lawsuits, judgments, wage garnishment orders, tax liens, and collection letters
- Proof of insurance for real estate and vehicles
- Retirement, pension, and investment account statements
- Life insurance policies with current cash values
- Copies of driver's license and Social Security card
- Property tax statements or bills
- Loan agreements and mortgages
- Contracts and lease agreements
- Divorce decree and child support orders
- Any other documents that relate to your income, debts, and property
It's important to note that while standard bankruptcy forms are used in all bankruptcy courts in the United States, each court may have local forms and requirements. That's why it's advantageous to work with a bankruptcy attorney in your jurisdiction who is familiar with the court and the bankruptcy trustees.
4) Do You Need Help Finding a Bankruptcy Attorney Near You?
If you're in a situation where you need to file for bankruptcy quickly, it is possible to do so without an attorney. However, if you're dealing with an emergency, it's usually best to seek the advice of a bankruptcy lawyer. Many bankruptcy attorneys offer free consultations, so you won't have to pay anything to get the help you need.
Ultimately, if you need assistance finding a bankruptcy attorney in your area, we can help. Our goal is to assist you in finding a way out of debt that is most beneficial for you.