We know that the decision to file for bankruptcy is never an easy one. Most people give it a lot of consideration before taking the step. However, in some cases you don’t have that luxury. If you are facing foreclosure on your home, wage garnishment, repossession of a vehicle or some other situation that requires immediate action, you can file an emergency bankruptcy claim.
A Chapter 7 emergency bankruptcy filing allows a person to hold off most creditors temporarily and keep their wages and property with an “automatic stay.” They then have some time to get all of the necessary forms filed with the bankruptcy court.
Do You Qualify for Chapter 7?
Before doing an emergency filing, you should make sure that you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In Georgia, you must have an income lower than the state’s median for your household size. If your income is above that level, you must pass a means test. There are a few exceptions, such as for disabled veterans or vets whose debt was mostly incurred during their service.
If you don’t qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may want to talk with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney to see if you can get relief from your debts via that route. The attorneys at Morgan & Morgan are experienced in helping Georgia residents with both types of filings, so we can help you determine which is best for you.
What Forms Are Needed for an Emergency Filing?
In an emergency Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, the following forms need to be filed along with a filing fee:
- Voluntary petition: This is document that summarizes your case. It includes information on approximately how much money you owe and the number of creditors to whom it is owed.
- Creditor matrix: This is a list of your specific creditors as well as anyone else you need to notify about your bankruptcy.This form and the entities that need to be notified vary by individual bankruptcy court. That’s why it’s important to have the guidance of attorneys like ours here at Morgan & Morgan who know the requirements for bankruptcy in Georgia and the local bankruptcy court regulations.
- Exhibit D: On this form you simply state that you understand that you are required to take a court-approved credit counseling class unless something like a disability prevents you from doing so. For example, service members in war zones are exempted from the course requirement.
Once you have filed an emergency Chapter 7 bankruptcy claim, you have two weeks to complete the remaining bankruptcy forms. If you aren’t going to make that deadline, you can ask the bankruptcy court to give you more time. However, it’s essential not to miss that first deadline without asking for a continuance or to miss any subsequent deadlines. The bankruptcy court can dismiss your case.
Don’t Let Debt Overwhelm You
At Morgan & Morgan, we understand that when you feel overwhelmed by debt, the last thing you may want to do is hire an attorney. However, bankruptcy is something that will impact you and your family for many years to come. It’s essential to understand the process and to make all of the decisions required in a bankruptcy filing as knowledgeably as possible.
Our attorneys have decades of experience representing clients filing for bankruptcy. Call or contact us today to arrange for a free consultation to see how we can help you turn your life around and get started on a path to financial stability.
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