There is a bankruptcy known as an emergency bankruptcy. This is not a special type of bankruptcy, but takes the form of either a chapter 7 bankruptcy or a chapter 13 bankruptcy. An emergency bankruptcy deals more with process than substance. This article discusses what an emergency bankruptcy is and when it is appropriate.
An emergency bankruptcy simply is the filing of an incomplete bankruptcy. The minimum documents that are required to be filed with the court, which form the basis of an emergency bankruptcy, are: 1.) the Voluntary Petition; 2.) Mailing Matrix; and, 3) Statement of Social Security Number. By filing the minimum requirement for documents in your bankruptcy, you have just filed an emergency bankruptcy case. This applies to both a chapter 7 bankruptcy case and a chapter 13 bankruptcy case. Additionally, for a chapter 7 bankruptcy you can pay the filing fee on installments (the first installment is due within about 30 days) and for a chapter 13 bankruptcy an initial filing fee of $185 must be paid.
Now, why would a person file an emergency bankruptcy? Sometimes, as a bankruptcy attorney, I am not called until the 11th hour by a potential client who needs to file a bankruptcy to stop a garnishment, foreclosure, or other civil law matter. As soon as we file the emergency bankruptcy, the bankruptcy’s automatic stay is triggered, which stops foreclosures and most collections activities. I haveThere are several bankruptcy chapters beyond Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 helped clients before whose home was to be foreclosed within a few short days. Although we did not have all the documents gathered for a complete bankruptcy, we had enough to file an emergency chapter 13 bankruptcy and stop the foreclosure. This can also be a common case when someone needs to stop a garnishment, right before his or her wages will be garnished.
Once an emergency bankruptcy is filed, the debtor has 14 days to file all deficiencies, or documents that need to be filed to complete the chapter 7 bankruptcy or the chapter 13 bankruptcy. Usually, we are able to gather and file all missing documents within the 14 day period. Occasionally, however, we must file a motion with the court to seek an extension of the 14 days in order to have enough time to file all missing documents.
Ideally, it is better to plan and file a complete chapter 7 bankruptcy or chapter 13 bankruptcy from the beginning. But sometimes circumstances necessitate the filing of an emergency bankruptcy.
If you are facing foreclosure or are about to be garnished at work, please contact me to set up a free in-office bankruptcy consultation in Eugene. If we need to file an emergency bankruptcy, I can accommodate your schedule. My turn-around time can be extremely fast.