What is emergency bankruptcy?
An emergency bankruptcy filing is a way to stop impending collection action, like a garnishment, foreclosure sale, lawsuit or tax lien. Once the emergency case is filed, no collectors can take any action against you. And if they do anyway, we can sue them, or undo the action (at the very least). To file an emergency bankruptcy, we don't need to file as much information as we would in a full bankruptcy. The emergency filing gives us14 days to file all the remaining bankruptcy documents.
How long does emergency bankruptcy take?
We can file an emergency case in a day or two, if it's necessary. We've even filed them the same day as the initial client meeting. But keep in mind that the closer we are to the emergency, the better chance we wouldn't be able to file it in time. Also, rush bankruptcy cases cost more than standard cases.
How to get ready
Document collection might be the hardest part of bankruptcy. The one thing that you need before filing an emergency case is a list of your creditors. As far as the full bankruptcy goes, there are a couple of things here that might be tricky. For example, you'll need to have filed your most recent taxes before filing bankruptcy (your last four years of tax returns need to be filed for a Chapter 13). Self-employed bankruptcy filers need to provide a profit & loss. The more complicated the case, the harder you'll have to work to make sure everything is filed in time. You should make sure to have these things before filing bankruptcy.
Also, you'll have to do your online credit counseling before an emergency filing. There's no room for mistakes on this one. If your online credit counseling is not completed before a bankruptcy, the case will be dismissed. Talk to your attorney about how to get the case completed on a rush basis.
The 14 day deadline
If you can't complete the full bankruptcy within 14 days of filing an emergency case, the case will be dismissed automatically by the court. On the one hand, this still achieved the desired effect—the bankruptcy still stopped the collection temporarily, which would have bought you some time. But on the other hand, it also could make it harder to re-file (the court can be a bit stricter with people who file multiple times).
If you need an emergency bankruptcy, get in touch with an attorney right away. But make sure to leave plenty of time!