Extreme debt can feel overwhelming but can be made even more stressful when people are seeking to collect money from you. In these situations, bankruptcy might be the best option. And if you are facing collection of funds because of a lawsuit, or are faced with losing your car to repossession, or any other number of reasons, you might want to consider an emergency bankruptcy.
Filing An Emergency Bankruptcy
There are some reasons that you might choose to file an emergency bankruptcy. Mostly, this is done because a debtor does not have the time to fill out all the necessary paperwork, and includes the following:
- sale of a home through foreclosure
- car repossession
- wage garnishments, and
Often times debtors will file an emergency bankruptcy file as a quick method for invoking an automatic stay. Often times a debtor will need the protection of an automatic stay immediately, and thus not have the time to wait to complete the majority of necessary bankruptcy forms. In these instances, an emergency bankruptcy can help desperate debtors.
An emergency bankruptcy can be filed by filling out the following forms: Form 1, Voluntary Petition, the Mailing Matrix, and Form 21, which is a Statement of Social Security Number. A debtor might also be required to fill out Order Dismissing Chapter 7 Case. This form is processed if a debtor fails to file the remainder of the bankruptcy forms within 14 days.
If the 14 days expires, a debtor is able to file again. Additionally, a debtor will need to ask the court to keep the automatic stay in effect once 30 days have passed following the filing
Steps of an Emergency Bankruptcy Filing
- Consult with the court or a bankruptcy attorney to ensure that you have all the forms needed for an emergency filing.
- Fill out the correct forms
- List all creditors. This includes: collection agencies, sheriffs, attorneys, and all others that are seeking to collect.
- Make copies of all paperwork for yourself.
- File the originals and any required number of copies along with the set fee and a self-addressed envelope with the bankruptcy court.
- Ensure that you have filed all other required forms within 14 days of your emergency filing.
Choosing Your Form of Bankruptcy
Depending on your situation, if you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, you’ll need to determine which form of bankruptcy, either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, you should file. As always, it’s advised that you work with a phoenix chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer or phoenix chapter 11 bankruptcy lawyer to help you determine if bankruptcy is the next step for you.
Chapter 7 (also known as a straight bankruptcy) is the most common form of bankruptcy and is available to consumers and businesses.
Under Chapter 7, assets are sold off so that the proceeds can go to paying debt. All proceeds from the sales of those assets are handed over to a trustee, who then pays down any and all creditors. After all creditors have been paid off they are no longer able to collect funds directly from you and your debts are cancelled, meaning you are no longer responsible for them.
You are not able to discharge the following debts under Chapter 7:
- Alimony and child support
- Drunk driving judgments, criminal fines, restitution
- Debts incurred as the result of fraud or intentional wrongdoing
- Back taxes under 3 years old
- Student loans
- Recent purchases made for substantial amounts
- Contracts involving titles or liens such as land or automobiles
Chapter 13 reorganizes debt so that you are able to pay back debts over the next three to five years. This pay-back plan is called a debt repayment schedule. Based on your income, and how much you owe, you’ll repay 10-100% of the debt you owe.
You are not able to discharge the following debts under Chapter 13:
- Alimony and child support
- Drunk driving judgments
- Criminal fines
- Student loans
Reasons to File Chapter 7
Chapter 7 bankruptcy should be chosen if the following apply:
- You have no hope and have no future hope of being able to repay any debts
- Your debts do not have co-signers on them
- You are going to be sued by creditors
- You don’t qualify for Chapter 13
Reasons to File Chapter 13
Chapter 13 bankruptcy should be chosen if the following apply:
- You have already filed Chapter 7 in the past six years
- Your debts have cosigners
- You will be able to pay your debts within three to five years
- Your income disqualifies you from filing for Chapter 7
- You need relief from collection proceedings and you want to pay your creditors back but just need some breathing room to get your finances under control
- You want to be able to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy some time in the future
- You are behind on your mortgage
- You owe back taxes
- You have assets that could be liquidated in Chapter 7
- You’re a farmer with debt not related to your farming operations and do not qualify for Chapter 12
Working with a Bankruptcy Attorney
Bankruptcy can be an overwhelming process. That’s why we advise that you work with a phoenix chapter 11 bankruptcy that is familiar with various debt repayment options. We are committed to helping our clients understand their rights and options under the bankruptcy law and developing the debt relief solution that makes the most sense for each individual. We invite you to call (602) 648-3274 or contact our Arizona office to schedule a free initial consultation.
668 N. 44th St., Ste 320, Phoenix, AZ 85008