Filing an Emergency Bankruptcy in Washington and Oregon
If you wish to file a bankruptcy petition in Washington or Oregon, there are a number of forms that you are required to file with the bankruptcy court. Assembling all of the information and filling out the forms can take a great deal of time. If you are facing an emergency, such as a wage garnishment or home foreclosure, you can file just a few of those forms to get the case started– this is often called to as an emergency bankruptcy filing.
Why File an Emergency Bankruptcy?
When you file for bankruptcy, the automatic stay kicks in. The automatic stay prohibits most creditors from continuing collection actions against you. If you are behind on your car payments or mortgage payments and you file for bankruptcy, the car loan lender won’t be able to repossess your vehicle and your mortgage company will not be able to foreclose, at least temporarily. There are limits and exceptions to the automatic stay. You should contact one of our experienced bankruptcy attorneys. Our bankruptcy attorneys will take the time to listen to your concerns and discuss the possibility of filing an emergency bankruptcy for you.
The automatic stay kicks in right away when you file the minimum forms required in an emergency bankruptcy. That way, your property is protected and you have more time to complete and file the rest of the forms.
Before You File the Emergency Bankruptcy
The bankruptcy law requires you to take a court-approved credit counseling class unless you are disabled, physically impaired to the extent that you can not take a class or in an active combat zone. This class is generally available online and in most cases over the telephone or in person. After you take the class and pass a short quiz, you will receive a certificate of credit counseling that must be dated at least a day before the date of your bankruptcy filing.
You should also look at the means test guidelines to see if you are likely to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You can find more information about the means test on our website.
Forms Required for an Emergency Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing
In order to start your case and get the benefit of the automatic stay, you must file, at a minimum, the following documents: voluntary petition, creditor matrix with verification, and certificate of credit counseling, if applicable, and Exhibit D. You also need to pay a filing fee.
- Voluntary Petition. This is a three-page document that contains your personal information and a summary of the information in your case, such as the approximate amount of your debt and the number of creditors.
- Creditor matrix. This is a list of all of your creditors and any other party that you have to notify about your bankruptcy. Look at your bankruptcy court’s local rules to see what other parties you must notify, and to see if there’s a required format for the matrix.
- Exhibit D. On this form, you tell the court that you understand the credit counseling requirement. You must either attach a certificate of credit counseling or tell the court why you are not required to take the course.
One of our experienced bankruptcy attorneys may advise you to file additional forms to comply with local rules.
Filing the Rest of the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Forms
After you file the initial forms, you have 14 days to complete and file the remaining bankruptcy forms. Depending on your situation, your bankruptcy forms package may be 60 or more pages long. All of the forms must be completed accurately to avoid problems with your case. You should always seek the assistance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney to help you complete the bankruptcy forms.
If you have not filed the remaining forms after 14 days, you can file a request for more time with the bankruptcy court. If the court approves this, you will receive a new deadline. If you miss the first deadline without asking for more time or you miss the second deadline, the court will dismiss your bankruptcy case.
Chapter 13 Emergency Bankruptcy Filing
Before You File the Emergency Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Petition
You have the same credit counseling requirement as in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You do not have to verify whether your income qualifies but you may want to make sure that your income is regular enough to allow you to make monthly plan payments to the Chapter 13 trustee.
Forms Required for an Emergency Bankruptcy Filing in Chapter 13
You have to file the same forms as required in an emergency Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The filing fee for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is slightly less than a Chapter 7.
Filing the Rest of the Bankruptcy Forms in Chapter 13
Just like in a Chapter 7 emergency filing, you have 14 days to file the rest of your Chapter 13 bankruptcy forms, including your Chapter 13 repayment plan.
You must make your first plan payment to the Chapter 13 trustee within 30 days of your initial emergency bankruptcy filing, even if you get extensions to file your other forms. If the first payment is not received in time, the Chapter 13 trustee can ask the bankruptcy court to dismiss your bankruptcy case.
Summary of Emergency Bankruptcy
If you want to file a bankruptcy petition there are a number of forms that you are required to file with the bankruptcy court. If you are facing an emergency, such as a wage garnishment or home foreclosure, you can file just a few of those forms to get the case started– this is often referred to as an emergency bankruptcy filing.
When you file for bankruptcy, the automatic stay kicks in. When you file the minimum forms required in an emergency bankruptcy, the automatic stay kicks in right away. If you have not filed the remaining forms after 14 days, you can file a request for more time with the bankruptcy court.
If you are concerned about foreclosure, repossession, wage garnishment or bank levy, an emergency bankruptcy may be right for you. However, bankruptcy is not a simple process and there are many rules and deadlines that you must strictly adhere to or your case could be dismissed. Before filing an emergency bankruptcy, contact our experienced bankruptcy attorneys. We are here to help.