If You Need To File For Bankruptcy Quickly You Can File A Bare
Updated By Cara O’Neill, Attorney
Sometimes you need to file for bankruptcy in a hurry. If you don’t have time to complete the lengthy bankruptcy paperwork, you can file a bare-bones petition, called an emergency bankruptcy, emergency petition, or skeleton filing. You’ll submit the rest of the papers later.
This article describes the bankruptcy forms you’ll need to file an emergency bankruptcy petition and the circumstances that might make such a petition necessary.
Collect Your Texas Bankruptcy Documents
Your first step should be to collect the documents youâll need during the bankruptcy process. Some documents, like your paycheck stubs, medical bills, collection letters you have received from creditors, and a recent copy of your credit report will be useful when filling out your bankruptcy forms.
Other documents, like the tax returns you filed in the 2 years before filing bankruptcy will need to be submitted to the bankruptcy trustee before your meeting of creditors. If youâre closing a bank account before filing your bankruptcy, make sure you get a complete copy of your bank statements for the 6 months before the account is closed. Your bankruptcy trustee may want to review your statements, and once an account is closed, it can be time consuming and even expensive to get them from the bank.
Try to be as organized as possible when collecting the documents for your Texas bankruptcy. It may take you a while to collect everything but when youâre ready to take the next step, youâll feel more prepared.
What About My Credit Score
If you are looking to file bankruptcy in MD, you need the right lawyer. You want a lawyer who will not only file your bankruptcy, but go the extra mile to rebuild your credit score. Thats why we do more than simply help you eliminate your debt. We work with you to rebuild your credit score after bankruptcy!; Our clients receive free access to 7 Steps to a 720 Credit Score. If credit score is a concern, you should strongly consider bankruptcy over other options. Bankruptcy wins almost every time when you consider bankruptcy vs. debt settlement. Many of our clients see their credit score go up after bankruptcy! Thats because we know how bankruptcy affects your credit score.
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Collect Your Maryland Bankruptcy Documents
While it may be tempting to just get to work on the bankruptcy forms, you will save yourself a lot of headaches later if you take the time to collect certain to documents first. Filing bankruptcy in Maryland imposes very strict disclosure requirements on everyone and having your documents nearby will make leaving something out accidentally a lot less likely. Everyone who is in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Maryland must provide the court with a detailed listing of all of their debts. The best resource to gather this information will be your credit report, which you can obtain for free from all three credit reporting agencies, along with any debt collection notices and other correspondence you received in the last 3 months. You also need the last six months of your paycheck stubs. If you get paid by direct deposit, chances are they are emailed to you, which will make it easy enough to gather them. Alternatively, you may want to visit your payroll department to ask for this information. Your bank statements will come in useful when trying to figure out your monthly expense. Finally, everyone in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Maryland is required to provide a copy of their most recent federal income tax return to their case trustee after the case is filed, so you might as well get that out of your filing cabinet now as well.
Is There An Income Limit For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
To automatically qualify for Chapter 7, your disposable income must be below the median level for your state. That number varies from state-to-state. If your disposable income exceeds the median in your state, you still may be able to qualify through a means test that includes looking at your income and reasonable expenses to see if you can get that number under the median income for your state.
Filing For Bankruptcy In Maryland
You can file a petition for bankruptcy with the local U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Maryland. Depending on where you live , you may file in Greenbelt or Baltimore. Electronic Filing is also available. You must show:
- you live in Maryland; or
- you had a business or most of your assets in Maryland.
If you cannot show you live or had a business/assets in Maryland for the last 180 days, you can show you were in Maryland more than any other judicial district over the last 180 days.
If you are filing for a business bankruptcy, you can also file wherever a partner or affiliate of your business has already filed for bankruptcy. 28 U.S.C. § 1408
Make Sure You Are Eligible
There are qualifying standards that must be met before you can file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy and it makes sense to do research to see what form of bankruptcy you are eligible for.
To be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, an individual must pass a means test that determines if their income is at or below the median income for their state. If not, they may have to file additional paperwork or switch to Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
To be eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, an individuals unsecured debt must be less than $419,275 and secured debts of less than $1,257,850.
Keeping Property When Filing Bankruptcy In Maryland
You won’t lose everything in bankruptcy. You’ll use your state bankruptcy exemption laws to protect your property. We list the significant exemptions below, but first, understanding the following will help you maximize what you’ll keep in your case.
- Exempt and nonexempt property. You can keep property protected by an exemption or “exempt” property. When a bankruptcy exemption doesn’t cover the property, you’ll either lose it in Chapter 7 or have to pay for it in the Chapter 13 repayment plan.
- Choosing state or federal exemptions. Unlike some other states, you can’t choose between the state exemption list and the list of federal bankruptcy exemptions. You must use Maryland’s exemptions. But you can use the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions.
- Doubling exemptions. Spouses filing together can double the exemption amount if both own the property unless noted otherwise.
- COVID-19 recovery rebate exemption. You might be able to protect stimulus payments, tax credits, and child credits in bankruptcy with the federal recovery rebate exemption.
- Retirement accounts all filers can protect. You can protect tax-exempt retirement accounts, including 401s, 403s, profit-sharing and money purchase plans, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, and defined benefit plans and traditional and Roth IRAs to $1,362,800 per person . ; .) Learn more about retirement accounts in bankruptcy.
Questions To Ask Before Filing Bankruptcy In Maryland
Filing bankruptcy in Maryland can be a daunting process when you dont know where to begin. Therefore, one of the best steps you can take as you begin the process is to learn more about whats involved, and from that point youll have a better sense of how to move forward. While specific Maryland bankruptcy laws and codes may be frequently updated, although their core regulations and standards are easier to become familiar with.
In addition to the below information, there are also plenty of useful websites where you can find tips and helpful advice ranging from new bankruptcy laws for Maryland and the general process of filing bankruptcy in Maryland. For example, you can visit the Department of Justice website and read their bankruptcy law information sheet, the District of Maryland United States Bankruptcy Court site, and take a look at their information as well.
In addition, be sure to ask yourself the following 5 questions before filing bankruptcy in Maryland:
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How To File Bankruptcy In Maryland For Free
People who need to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Maryland sometimes are in such financial distress that even the $338 court filing fee is more than they can handle. If you identify with this sentiment, you can ask the court to waive the fee, and as long as your income is less than 150% of the federal poverty guidelines you may end up filing bankruptcy in Maryland for free.
How To File Bankruptcy For Free In Texas
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In a Nutshell
If youâre looking at your debt relief options, youâre probably worried about how much the bankruptcy process will cost you. The good news is that you donât have to hire a bankruptcy attorney to file Chapter 7. Keep reading to learn how to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Texas on your own!
Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer.
Everyone knows that you don’t mess with Texas and a bankruptcy filing can help you make sure your creditors can’t mess with you either. Seeking protection from the Texas bankruptcy courts allows you to focus on what matters most: making sure you have a roof over your head and food on the table for you and your loved ones.
Sometimes life happens in a way that is unexpected and U.S. bankruptcy laws exist to give honest folks who find themselves in unfortunate situations a fresh start. Thereâs no shame in getting debt relief through bankruptcy.
In short, it’s important to remember that filing bankruptcy is not a reflection of who you are as a person. If youâre struggling with credit card debt, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the best way to get back on your feet and take care of yourself and your family.
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Filing Requirements For An Emergency Petition
An average bankruptcy filing can contain 50 or more pages of documents that list all of your assets, debts, income, expenses, and detailed statements concerning your financial history. Sometimes you don’t have the time to complete all of the necessary paperwork. Here is a basic breakdown of the minimum that you must complete, sign, and file to start your bankruptcy case.
The following documents are the minimum that you must file to start your Chapter 7 case :
- The bankruptcy petition. The first document includes identifying information and tells the court which bankruptcy chapter you intend to file. Learn about the Chapter 7 petition.
- You’ll include a list of the names and addresses of all your known creditors. Some courts might let you file it a few days later. Your local bankruptcy court dictates the format of this form. Look for details on your court’s website or call the court clerk. You can find your court’s website using the Federal Court Finder tool.
- Statement of Social Security Number. You’ll provide your Social Security number on a separate form that the court will not make public.
- Certificate of credit counseling. You’re required to receive during the 180 days before filing, with few exceptions.
Some bankruptcy courts may also have additional requirements, such as written disclosure statements or electronic copies of your documents.
Emergency or Skeleton Filing Fee
What Is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a way to reorganize your debt. It involves repaying none, some or all of your debt over the course of three to five years. One important difference between Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that in Chapter 13, your debts arent discharged and youre still liable to pay them.
With Chapter 13, most or all of your creditors are lumped together into one large pool. You then make payments each month to a lawyer called a trustee whos assigned to your case. The trustee distributes your payment to the creditors.
In Chapter 13, you can reduce the amount owed on secured loans, reduce interest rates, re-amortize loans for a lower monthly payment, remove certain liens, extend the time to pay back taxes, reduce the amount owed on unsecured loans sometimes down to zero and legally break leases, says bankruptcy attorney Dai Rosenblum of Butler, Pa. Because a Chapter 13 filing can extend up to five years, Rosenblum says many people use it to catch up on their mortgage.
When you proceed with a Chapter 13 case, you must file a plan detailing how some, or all, of the debts will be repaid over time. In addition, you or your attorney, in conjunction with the trustee for your case, will determine a reasonable amount that you can afford to pay back to creditors. That amount is based on your assets, monthly income and monthly expenses.
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Filing Bankruptcy In Maryland
Youll notice from the table of the contents that we focus specifically on Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Why? Because these two types of bankruptcy are the most common bankruptcy in America . There are other types such as the Chapter 11 and Chapter 11 subchapter 5 bankruptcies, but these are far less common for consumers .
Completing And Filing Bankruptcy Forms
Once youve determined your eligibility for bankruptcy, you can start filing the proper paperwork, submitting your information to the bankruptcy court, and explaining your financial circumstances to your case trustee. Then, youll need to pay your filing fee and print your bankruptcy documents. If, however, you work with a lawyer, they can file your case electronically.
Once the trustee and court receive your documents, you go to your 341 meeting. This happens approximately 20 to 40 days after you file and involves meeting with your trustee and creditors. That meeting will determine the results of filing for bankruptcy.
Its important to note that after you file, you will need to complete a second financial management course to receive a discharge of your debts. The second course provides you with information about what you can do to create and stick to a budget and responsibly manage your finances in the future.
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Chapter 11 Bankruptcy In Maryland
Also known as reorganization, Chapter 11 bankruptcy is the most expansive of the chapters. Both businesses and consumers can file a Chapter 11, but Chapter 11 is the only option for a business that needs bankruptcy relief and wishes to continue operations. In a Maryland Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the United States Trustees Office monitors your case to ensure compliance with the rules. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is complex. You need a Maryland Chapter 11 bankruptcy attorney who knows the procedures of the Maryland bankruptcy courts.
Texas Bankruptcy Means Test
Everyone who wants to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Texas has to make sure they are eligible to do so. The first step is to compare your household income to the median household income of the same size in your state. If your household income is greater than this limit, the second part of the bankruptcy means test determines whether your income is enough to meet your reasonable and necessary living expenses and fund a repayment plan in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If not, youâre eligible to file a Chapter 7.
Data on Median Income Levels for Texas
Texas Median Income Standards for Means Test for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2021
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Qualifying For Bankruptcy In Maryland
If you’ve never filed for bankruptcy before, you’ll meet the initial requirement. Otherwise, check whether enough time has passed to allow you to file again. The waiting period varies depending on the chapter previously filed and the chapter you plan to file. Learn more about multiple bankruptcy filings.
You’ll also need to meet specific chapter qualifications.
You’ll qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if your family’s gross income is lower than the median income for the same size family in your state. Add all gross income earned during the last six months and multiply it by two. Compare the figure to the income charts on the U.S. Trustee’s website .
Want an easy way to do this online? Use the Quick Median Income Test. If you find that you make too much, you still might qualify after taking the second part of the “means test.” If, after subtracting expenses, you don’t have enough remaining to pay into a Chapter 13 plan, you’ll qualify for Chapter 7.
Qualifying for Chapter 13 can be expensive because the extra benefits come at a hefty price, and many people can’t afford the monthly payment. To qualify, you’ll pay the larger of: