Can I File My Bankruptcy Same Day?
How Emergency Bankruptcy Can Protect Your Assets
Our Arizona bankruptcy Lawyers offer expedited services for clients in emergency situations. Whether it’s wage garnishment, vehicle repossession, or a home foreclosure looming on the horizon. Our dedicated bankruptcy team will get your case filed quickly and correctly so that your case can proceed as smoothly as possible. Additionally, our Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyers offer premier legal services with rates and payment plans that you can afford. Fill out our online form to set up your free case evaluation.
Bankruptcy and How It Protects You from Your Creditors
Bankruptcy is designed to help people (and companies) struggling with debt deal with it in a manner that maintains some fairness for creditors. But it isn’t just designed to benefit creditors- it comes with versatile advantages and protections for the debtors as well. The vast majority of people in Arizona file one of two types of consumer bankruptcy, Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most popular type of consumer bankruptcy in Arizona. Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Arizona clears away most types of unsecured debts, like medical bills, personal loans, and credit card debts. To be eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your income must fall below Arizona’s state median income for your household size. If not, you can use the Means Test to show you don’t have sufficient disposable monthly income to make meaningful progress on repaying your debts. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, exemptions must be applied to protect all of your assets, or the trustee can take them to pay off your creditors. Arizona’s exemptions are fairly strict, so you won’t be able to keep assets in which you hold significant equity.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Arizona doesn’t have strict income limits and exemptions like Chapter 7 does. Instead, it reorganizes your debts into a payment plan that you can afford based on your disposable monthly income. If your income falls below Arizona’s state median for your household size, your payment plan will last 3 years. If your income exceeds the state median, your payment plan will last 5 years.
When you file either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you instantly become protected by a legal mechanism known as the “automatic stay.” The automatic stay will last, in most cases, until the case is discharged or dismissed. The automatic stay prevents your creditors from taking a variety of actions against you. This includes wage garnishments, home foreclosures, vehicle repossessions, bank levies, utility shutoffs, evictions in certain phases, lawsuits, and more.
Emergency Filings for Emergency Circumstances
Oftentimes, before a creditor is about to pursue an aggressive collection method like repossession or garnishment, the debtor has done everything within their financial ability to prevent it from happening. So it isn’t uncommon for clients to come to us just a day or two before their creditor is set to proceed with collection. But bankruptcy petitions are lengthy legal documents that take much longer than a few minutes to throw together. In these instances, we utilize an option known as a skeleton bankruptcy filing.
A skeleton bankruptcy petition, also known as an emergency bankruptcy petition, requires far fewer documents to complete than a full length bankruptcy petition. You will only need to provide some basic information, as well as your income information from the last 6 months. You will also need to complete your first credit counseling course so that the completion certificate can be filed along with your skeleton petition. All of these steps will take just a few hours to complete. So if you’re driving around town trying to avoid the repo man, filing emergency bankruptcy could provide you with protection and relief. But you need an experienced Arizona bankruptcy attorney who can work quickly, and you shouldn’t be coming to an attorney with a same day emergency filing request late in the afternoon.
Filing emergency bankruptcy doesn’t mean you can sit back and relax, in fact, the work has just begun. You will only have two weeks to submit your full length bankruptcy petition. This might sound like a long time, but if you don’t have documents like your tax returns or your domestic orders in your possession, they can take a while to obtain. Your attorney will also need your documents before the 2-week deadline, so they have time to review them, and draft and file your bankruptcy petition.
What Do I Need to Do After Completing My Full Length Petition?
The work isn’t complete after you submit your full length bankruptcy petition, either. Chances are, your bankruptcy trustee will request documents to support the information in your bankruptcy petition. Approximately 30-45 days after your skeleton petition is filed, you will need to attend a hearing known as a 341 Meeting of Creditors. Attendance at this hearing is mandatory, and missing it or showing up too late will result in a continuance, which will delay your case overall. It could even result in the trustee dismissing your case.
After attending your 341 Meeting of Creditors, you will have 60 days to complete your second credit counseling course. If you filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy, filing your completion certificate with the court is the last thing you need to do until you receive your letter of discharge. If you filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will need to make your payments as per your payment plan.
Emergency Bankruptcy Filing Checklist in Arizona
Your Arizona bankruptcy attorney may have their own special requirements to file bankruptcy with them, but in general you can expect to need to have the following prepared in order to proceed with a skeleton bankruptcy filing:
- Six months of your income information, as well as your spouse’s, if applicable.
- Your driver’s license and social security card: your attorney will need it for petition drafting purposes, and your trustee will need them to verify your identity at your 341 Meeting of Creditors. If you don’t have the proper forms of identification, it can be difficult to obtain them in the time period between filing your petition and your 341 Meeting of Creditors.
- Your first credit counseling course certificate: if you file with an attorney, they should automatically be emailed a copy of your certificate to file with your petition. This course should take about an hour to complete online, and comes with a nominal fee.
- Your bankruptcy filing fee: this is $338 for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and $313 for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- Your tax returns: while this isn’t required for your skeleton petition, it’s recommended to be current on your tax filings in an emergency bankruptcy, as it will be nearly impossible to get your taxes up to date in the 2-week period meant to draft the rest of your bankruptcy petition.
Fast Bankruptcy Filings. Fair Prices.
At My AZ Lawyers, we understand that sometimes you don’t have months to prepare for a bankruptcy filing. If you have a garnishment or repossession impending, we can get your case filed fast so that you will be protected by the automatic stay. In some instances, we can even get your case filed the same day! Eligible clients can even utilize our ZERO DOLLARS DOWN bankruptcy payment plan. If you need an emergency bankruptcy, an Arizona $0 Down Bankruptcy, Arizona Bankruptcy by Phone, or just need debt relief; don’t hesitate, schedule your free consultation at 480-833-8000 today.
Bankruptcy Law Firm Assisting Clients Throughout Arizona
Our experienced bankruptcy attorneys offer representation throughout Arizona. We offer payment plans for every budget, free confidential consultations, and same day bankruptcy filing options. Additionally, our Chapter 7 attorneys and Chapter 13 lawyers have years of debt relief experience throughout Arizona, including the counties of: Maricopa, Pima, Pinal, Cochise, Coconino, Apache, and Santa Cruz. Plus, our Arizona Debt Relief team offers some of the lowest legal fees in all of Arizona. We get results through getting fresh financial starts and low flat fees and flexible payment plans. Contact our Arizona Bankruptcy Offices today!