At midnight, most people are getting ready for bed and watching Letterman. But sometimes not me. You see, it’s not all too uncommon for some of my staff and me to be at my Long Island bankruptcy office filing a client’s bankruptcy petition at the witching hour.
Why File a Bankruptcy Petition at Midnight?
Sometimes when we have a bankruptcy case to file for urgent reasons, we simply can’t go home until it’s a done deal.
There are clients who come to us at the very last minute when there may just be hours to spare before a foreclosure sale is scheduled for the next morning. In such cases, we rush to file a petition because the minute we file the petition, the “automatic bankruptcy stay”  goes into effect, effectively preventing the sale from going forward.
Filing emergency bankruptcy cases is an important part of effective bankruptcy representation. Clients come to us with emergency filing needs for various reasons. Sometimes they are just too anxious to seek bankruptcy help until last minute .
Sometimes clients put too much faith in others believing that a mortgage broker will come through with financing at the last minute. Lately, I’ve seen clients who hoped that they would be able to get their mortgage company to modify the mortgage, only to find that the mortgage company was unwilling to cooperate, and instead pushed forward with the foreclosure sale.
How Do We File Bankruptcy Petitions at Midnight?
We file all of our petitions by E.C.F. — which stands for Electronic Case Filing. This is the process whereby we file bankruptcy documents by computer over the internet, directly into the bankruptcy court’s computer.
Thus, we can file petitions from our office 24 hours a day — not that we would ordinarily want to do so. The exception was in October of 2005. Two days before the 2005 Bankruptcy Amendment Act was to take effect, I enlisted the services of my wife and together we filed about 75 petitions between midnight and four in the morning.
What’s Involved with an Emergency Bankruptcy Filing on Long Island?
There are many aspects to filing a petition at the last minute. I dedicated an entire article that was published in the Suffolk Lawyer to this issue: Handling the Emergency Filing .
Ideally, filing bankruptcy should not be left to the last minute. After all, there is a Difference Between an Emergency Bankruptcy Filing and a Rush Bankruptcy Filing . However, when the situation arises, a midnight filing is just as good as any other time.