Sometimes circumstances are such that you have to file bankruptcy right away. Perhaps a creditor is threatening to attach your wages or levy your bank account. You may even be facing the imminent foreclosure sale of your home. The question then becomes, can you file right away?

The answer is, in most instances, yes, but I do not recommend it unless you absolutely have to (like the sheriff sale on your home is next week - or tomorrow!). In New Jersey, under the bankruptcy rules, you can file what is called a "bare bones" or "skeletal" petition that contains very little information, as long as you file the remaining "schedules" of information within two weeks.

Why Filing Bankruptcy Fast Can Be a Bad Idea

That is a bad idea, however, for many reasons, but mainly because if you fail to file the remaining parts of the petition by the deadline, your case will be dismissed.

When that happens, any new filing of bankruptcy will result in an automatic stay that only protects you from creditors for 30 days, unless you can prove changed circumstances to the judge and get the stay extended. This is also what the "Octomom" is facing.

Rushing to file could also result in you overlooking a major issue that could make filing a bad idea: maybe your home is worth more than you thought it was, and the trustee would want to sell it. Maybe you fail the means test, and the trustee could claim you filed in bad faith!

So What Should I Do?

You should never rush filing, so don't wait too long to do it. Give yourself the time to do it right. Therefore, if you live in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem or Cumberland County, are in deep financial trouble, are considering bankruptcy, and are ready to take action,  call my office immediately at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to schedule an appointment in my Woodbury office to discuss your options. Don't wait until it it too late!

If you are looking for more information about bankruptcy, then download my free book, Top Questions People Ask About Filing Bankruptcy in New Jersey.

Not sure if bankruptcy is right for you? Take the quiz to the right to find out more!

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Steven J. Richardson
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Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.