Our Arizona Bankruptcy Attorneys Answer Frequently Asked Questions About Emergency Chapter 7 Filings
What Is Emergency Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
An Emergency Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filing is a method of filing bankruptcy that allows the debtor to receive the protections of bankruptcy faster. It is usually used when the debtor is about to have an asset repossessed or foreclosed upon, or a wage garnishment is about to start. Standard bankruptcy petitions are lengthy and detailed documents, and take too long to draft to help in an emergency situation. An emergency filing, also known as a skeleton petition, has looser requirements so the case can be filed sooner. The person filing bankruptcy will then have two weeks to submit the rest of their petition with the court.
What Is The Automatic Stay?
The Automatic Stay is one of the biggest benefits of filing bankruptcy. It is a legal protection that goes into effect once your bankruptcy petition, standard or emergency, is filed. When your Automatic Stay is active, your creditors can’t partake in collection methods like foreclosure, repossession, and wage garnishment. It is triggered immediately by an emergency bankruptcy filing and lasts until the case is discharged or dismissed.
What Documents Do I Need To File An Emergency Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
You will need to eventually provide an extensive list of documents detailing your financial history for your full bankruptcy petition, but your initial emergency petition only requires a few documents. You will need to have your identification and social security card available, as well as all of your income documents (pay stubs, profit and loss, etc.) from the last 6 months. If you file with an attorney, they may require you to fill out an intake form to contextualize the documents you provide. You will also need a completion certificate from your first bankruptcy credit counseling course. If you file with an attorney, they will automatically receive your course completion certificate from your course provider.
How Do I Know If I Qualify For Emergency Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
There are several factors that can make Chapter 7 burdensome or disqualify you entirely. However, the main factor to look at when filing Chapter 7 is income. To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must either make less income than your state’s median based on family size, or you must pass the Means Test. The Means Test calculates your disposable monthly income and qualifies you for Chapter 7 if it is negative or falls within a certain threshold. The Means Test is best conducted by a bankruptcy lawyer.
What Is a 341 Meeting Of Creditors?
The 341 Meeting of Creditors is a mandatory hearing for both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filers. Your creditors will be notified of this hearing and be given the opportunity to appear. Your trustee will be at the hearing, and ask you basic identification questions and potentially ask further questions about your petition. You will need to bring your driver’s license and social security card to your 341 Meeting of Creditors. If you hire a Phoenix bankruptcy attorney, that attorney will attend the hearing with you, but can’t appear on your behalf. These hearings are generally short and simple, especially with a clear and professionally drafted petition.
How Long Does The Entire Emergency Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process Take?
Your case will be eligible for discharge 60 days after your 341 Meeting of Creditors, but it may take a few additional days or weeks to be processed. You will also need to complete a second credit counseling course in the 60 days between your 341 Meeting of Creditors and eligibility for discharge. Overall, you can expect the process to take between 3 and 6 months.
How Will This Affect My Credit?
An Emergency Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can affect everyone’s credit differently, mostly dependent on their credit score before filing. Someone with a good score might see a sharp drop once their bankruptcy petition is filed, while someone with a lower score may see a small drop, no drop, or even a small increase.
What Steps Can I Take To Rebuild My Credit After Bankruptcy?
Your mailbox will likely be flooded with offers for new credit cards when your case is discharged. You may be able to finance assets, such as a vehicle, even before your case is discharged. Making timely payments on these new lines of credit will help boost your score after bankruptcy. You can also open a secured credit card through your bank if you aren’t approved for other credit cards, or are hesitant to start accruing new debt. If your Tucson bankruptcy attorney offers a post-filing payment plan, check to see if it includes credit reporting. If so, paying off your bankruptcy will also help you improve your credit score.
Do I Need An Attorney To File An Emergency Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
The bankruptcy courts don’t technically require you to hire an attorney. However, about one in three Chapter 7 bankruptcies that are filed pro se, or without an attorney, are dismissed. With the additional requirements imposed in an emergency bankruptcy filing, the pro se dismissal rate should be similar, if not higher. More than 99% of pro se Chapter 13 cases are dismissed. It is a rare situation where it is advisable to file emergency Chapter 7 bankruptcy without an attorney.
Can I Pay For My Emergency Chapter 7 With a $0 Down Bankruptcy Payment Plan?
A skeleton petition is a vital part of the post-filing bankruptcy payment process, so you can still file Emergency Chapter 7 for as low as $0 down. You will begin incurring debts from the day your emergency petition is filed- debts incurred between your emergency filing and full petition filing won’t be discharged. Your attorney will charge you for work completed after your skeleton filing.
When you file with our Arizona bankruptcy firm, your $0 Down Bankruptcy Plan will be credit reported, helping you improve your credit score after your bankruptcy discharge. Your payment plan can extend up to 12 months, 0% interest. You can even pick the payment date and frequency.
Contact Your Arizona Lawyer For $0 Down Bankruptcy Filings
Keep in mind, you may be eligible to stop a wage garnishment, a vehicle repossession, even a home foreclosure with a $0 Down Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Arizona. Therefore, if you are in need of debt relief, contact our AZ Zero Down Lawyers today for a free consultation to find out how you may qualify to STOP debt from taking over your life without paying any upfront fees.
If you are considering Emergency Bankruptcy, you don’t have time to drag your feet. Take the first step by scheduling your free consultation with one of our experienced bankruptcy lawyers. Our Arizona bankruptcy attorneys offer $0 Down bankruptcy filings, FREE Consultations, and the experience of hundreds of successful bankruptcies in Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa, and surrounding communities in Arizona.