Generally, we find that most people need about a week to ten days to get together all of the information they will need to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Bankruptcy has become a very document intensive process. In order to file, you will need at a minimum:
- last year’s tax return
- copies of pay stubs from yourself and your spouse for the past 7 months
- a credit counseling certificate
- proof of insurance on your vehicle and/or home
You will also need a printout of your credit reports and/or a list of all creditor that you owe. You will also need to complete our new client questionnaire so that we will have the information we need to prepare your case.
At Ginsberg Law Offices, we also tell our clients to block out 90 minutes to 2 hours for an in-office appointment to discuss your financial situation and to discuss both the bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy options.
Bankruptcy is a serious financial move and you should not enter into the process casually. Again, assume that you will need 7 to 10 days to pull together the information you need to file.
What Happens if I Have a Genuine Emergency?
Financial crises sometimes occur when you least expect them. You may learn of a threatened repossession or wage garnishment at 5:00 P.M. on a Friday, or a deal to stop a mortgage foreclosure may fall through on the Monday prior to a Tuesday foreclosure. Ginsberg Law Offices will be there for you at these times of need.
If you have an emergency situation and need to meet with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer, we will schedule an appointment for you immediately. Our firm prides itself on our willingness to take the last minute cases that other law firms refuse to handle.
If you are facing an emergency situation such as a foreclosure in a matter of days or hours, a threatened repossession or a filed wage garnishment, we can speed up the process. Technically, we can prepare and file an emergency “two page” petition in about 30 minutes. Emergency petitions are also known as skeleton petitions. This would get you a case number and start the protection of the automatic stay.
Statistically, emergency filed petitions do not work as well as full petitions. It is never a good idea to make important decisions under pressure and you will not have time to fully consider your options
If you do file an emergency petition, you will need a list of your creditors, your credit counseling certificate, and funds for the filing fee and attorney’s fees.
Bankruptcy cases are filed in federal bankruptcy court. Our firm represents clients who live in the northern part of Georgia – which includes Atlanta, Gainesville, Newnan and Rome. The Northern District allows for electronic filing of cases over the Internet. Our firm has a direct log-in to the Clerk of Court’s office and we can upload your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 petition whenever it is ready. This means that in an emergency situation, we do not have to wait until the courthouse is open – if necessary we can file your case at 9:00 P.M. on a Tuesday, 3:00 P.M. on a Sunday or 11:00 A.M. on the 4th of July.
Don’t Forget About Mandatory Credit Counseling Certificate
One word of warning – the bankruptcy law requires you to obtain a credit counseling certificate before you will be allowed to file your case. Credit briefings can be done over the phone or Internet in as little as 45 minutes. As soon as you see that bankruptcy may be an option for you, we strongly recommend that you schedule your credit briefing at your earliest convenience.