Traditional bankruptcy filings can come with hours spent filling out reams of forms, but there is a little-known, but quicker, method to get your filing accomplished. If you need to take fast action, read on to learn more about filing for an emergency petition.
Who Needs an Emergency Petition?
Without a doubt, one of the major benefits of a bankruptcy filing is the ability to employ the legal maneuver known as the automatic stay. Any actions that are underway by your creditors, be it a foreclosure, a repossession, an eviction, or any debt collection activity will come to an automatic stop (or stay, in legal terms). The stay may be only temporary, but it does buy you some time to take some action to prevent loss of property.
The Emergency Bankruptcy Package
Listed below are the minimum forms required for a filing:
1. Creditor's Matrix, which is the heart of your bankruptcy petition and contains the contact information and amounts owed to each and every creditor. Use care when completing this section; you cannot get debt relief from creditors you leave off. You must include all debt: personal loans, mortgages, car loans, credit cards, line of credit loans, etc.
2. Form B-1, which is just the first 3 pages of the petition.
3. Form B-21, which is the statement about your Social Security number.
4. Exhibit D, which is the affidavit of credit education. All filers must now take two different credit counseling classes, one of which must occur before you file. For those who file an emergency petition, you must be able to show good cause as to why the required class has not been taken. If you have a reason for filing the emergency bankruptcy, you likely also have cause to leave out the proof of the class. You must still take the two classes eventually for your bankruptcy to be complete.
While it's permissible to file a less-than-complete bankruptcy package in an emergency situation, you must still pay the court filing fees. A chapter 7 filing costs $335.00, but you may be able to use Form 3B to request a waiver of fees due to extreme financial hardship or Form 3A to request an installment plan for paying the fee.
It's imperative that you personally contact your creditors to prevent the loss of property, since the notification from the bankruptcy court can take a week or more. Provide your creditors with the case number and the name and phone number of your bankruptcy attorney.
You have only 14 days to complete the remainder of your bankruptcy forms, and failure to do so will result in your bankruptcy being invalidated. You will have to begin the entire process again if that occurs.
Consult with your bankruptcy attorney for more information about filing an emergency bankruptcy.