Friday, June 1, 2012

The Emergency, aka The Skeleton Bankruptcy Petition

Attorney Ryan Hackett
When you file bankruptcy there is a LOT of information to gather.  Sometimes people need time to get everything that is needed to their bankruptcy attorney to file.

But what happens when they don’t have the time?  For example their payroll needs a case number by noon to stop a garnishment, and they are still trying to gather all of the necessary documents their attorney requested. Or, they have a foreclosure set for the following day that they are trying to stop?

Fortunately the Bankruptcy Courts in Oregon and Washington allow debtors to file what is called an “emergency” or “skeleton” bankruptcy. This type of filing requires very little information. You really just need your name, address and social security number listed on the petition. You also need the credit counseling certificate (which you can get online in about an hour by completing a required course). Ideally you would want all of your creditors listed, but you can also add them later if needed.

The emergency filing will give you the exact same case number as you would get if you had filed a complete petition. It will stop garnishments, foreclosures and repossessions just as if you had filed a complete case.

After the emergency petition is filed the Court will issue an Order requiring the remaining documents and schedules to be filed within 14 days.

An emergency or skeleton filing can be a good option if you need immediate relief to stop a garnishment, repossession or foreclosure. Our office has experience in filing emergency cases.  We prefer to file the full petition instead of a skeleton petition, but we realize that in certain circumstances our clients need to get a case number ASAP.

For more information about our firm and for Oregon and Washington bankruptcy information visit