When you file for bankruptcy, the automatic stay prevents most creditors from continuing to collect from you. The filing process, however, takes time. You meet with an attorney, complete several forms, and pay the retainer and filing fee. What can you do when one of the following collection actions is suddenly imposed on you?
- Wage garnishment
- Collection lawsuit
To stop these losses, you can use a faster process known as an emergency bankruptcy filing. It allows you to take advantage of the automatic stay more quickly and submit the rest of the bankruptcy petition later. An emergency petition consists of the following documents:
- The bankruptcy petition, which identifies the chapter you are filing, your identifying information, and other general details.
- The names and addresses of your creditors, plus any debt collectors, collection attorneys, sheriffs, and other parties who are trying to collect from you.
- A certificate confirming that you completed the required credit counseling course OR a request for a waiver. (If you are disabled, physically impaired, or serving in a combat zone, you are exempt from this requirement.) The course may be taken in person, online, and even over the telephone. Afterward, you take a quiz before you can receive a certificate of credit counseling.
- Form B121, which contains information about your Social Security Numbers.
You will also have to pay a filing fee or, if you can’t afford it, a request to waive the fee or pay it in installments.
Once you file an emergency petition, you must file the remaining documents within 14 days or your case will be dismissed. If you are filing an emergency Chapter 13 petition, you don’t have to verify your income, but you will have to make monthly payments, so your proposed repayment plan must be included in the documents submitted later. You are required to submit your first Chapter 13 payment within 30 days after the emergency bankruptcy filing.
Contact a Texas Bankruptcy Attorney
Being subjected to a sudden collection action is frightening, especially if you are at risk of losing your home or a large portion of your income. At the Law Office of Gregory A. Ross, PC, we understand that this is a stressful time and will provide you with moral in addition to legal support as you seek bankruptcy protection and recover from this difficult situation. For more information or to schedule a consultation with Attorney Gregory Ross, please contact us.