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How Long Does Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Take

How Long Does A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Take

How Long Does a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Take? | Texas Attorney Answers Frequently Asked Questions

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In a Nutshell

Once filed, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically takes about 4 – 6 months to complete. The bankruptcy discharge is granted 3 – 4 months after filing in most cases.

Written byAttorney Andrea Wimmer.

  • Letâs Summarize
  • Most Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases take between 4 – 6 months to complete after filing the case with the court. The order erasing eligible debts can be granted as early as 90 days from the date the case was filed. No-asset cases are typically closed a couple of weeks after the discharge date.

    Speak With A Professional

    The U.S. Bankruptcy Court strongly suggests that those filing get an attorney. Court officials, including judges, are barred by law from offering advice to people whove filed for bankruptcy. The court does have information and documents available for those doing it themselves, legally called pro se.

    What Can Make My Bankruptcy Take Longer

    Chapter 7 bankruptcy generally takes between four and six months to complete, but there are some scenarios that may make the process longer:

    • More information is needed. Your trustee may submit a request for more information than what you provided, which could delay your case.
    • The trustee is selling your property. Although the courts will determine what real estate you can retain to maintain an appropriate living situation, some of your real estate may be sold by the trustee during the bankruptcy process. The sale of real estate generally takes longer than the liquidation of any other assets and debts.
    • You postpone your credit counseling class.< Every person filing for bankruptcy is required to take a credit counseling course. Exceptions are granted to active military, as well as those or are not physically or mentally fit to take the course. If you put off completing of the course, you could delay your petition.
    • A creditor needs more time. Creditors are allowed to come to your debt hearing meeting. Should they suspect fraud or need more time to review your debts, then the 341 meeting could be postponed thereby drawing out your case. However, this is not typical and generally only occurs in more complex bankruptcy cases.
    • If you are part of a litigation in the court. If you are part of a litigation in the bankruptcy court, its likely that your discharge wont be approved until the lawsuit is settled by the judge.

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    When You Have A Hassle

    In most cases, filing for Chapter 7 should be straightforward and hassle-free. In those cases, you can anticipate the process lasting less than five months. During the process, you can anticipate a meeting of creditors hearing, supplying any and all additional information needed, taking the financial management course, and then finally, being discharged of your debts.

    However, when things get complicated, time may be added to your process along with additional steps.

    Our Legal Help Is Affordable

    Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

    You can expect upfront, transparent quotes that include the courts filing fee. Our payment plans make legal services affordable for you. We know the financial pain because weve been there. Our founder had to climb back to financial freedom after filing for bankruptcy relief. Were here to help you on your journey and make the process affordable.

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    Is It Better To File A Chapter 7 Or 13

    Whether you should file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 depends on your individual financial situation. If youre unable to pass the means test and your income is too high to qualify for Chapter 7, you may be eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead. With Chapter 7, your eligible debts will be discharged once youve finished filing however, you may lose some of your assets in the process. With a Chapter 13 filing, youll have to follow a three- to five-year payment plan before your debts are discharged, but it may be a way for you to avoid losing assets.

    Attorney To Help You Through The Bankruptcy Timeline

    One advantage of using Chapter 7 bankruptcy to solve your debt problems is that it is usually a relatively quick process. In fact, the majority of Chapter 7 matters are complete in six month or less. However, there are many important things that must happen at certain times in order to keep the process moving. A skilled bankruptcy lawyer can guide you from beginning to end.

    At the Law Office of Paul L. Urich, P.A., bankruptcy is all we do. We are completely devoted to helping Floridians find relief from overwhelming debt. Since 1998, founding attorney Paul Urich has filed thousands of Chapter 7 bankruptcy petitions to help people get fresh starts. We know the Chapter 7 bankruptcy timeline, and we will do our best to make your case predictable for you, so there are no surprises along the way.

    To arrange a free initial consultation with an experienced Florida bankruptcy lawyer, please call or contact our Orlando law firm online.

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    How Long Does Chapter 7 Take

    Typically, Chapter 7 bankruptcy takes 4-6 months from the time the case is filed to the final discharge of debts. Cases not involving any assets can usually be discharged in just a little over 90 days. Its the more complicated case with many assets that can drag on.

    Every state has a bankruptcy court where the case will take place. Once the person filing passes the means test, the case can be filed. There is typically a lot of paperwork that needs to be completed. Its important to not only fill forms out accurately but also on time. If these things dont happen, you run the risk of your case being delayed.

    The Trustee Needs More Information

    How Long Does Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Take In Colorado?

    You’ll give the trustee a lot of information in your bankruptcy schedules and through testimony at your meeting of creditors, but many times the trustee will want additional information that you haven’t provided. For instance, trustees often ask for copies of bank statements, documents evidencing the sale or transfer of assets, business records, and insurance policies. The trustee might adjourn the 341 meeting to give you a chance to gather them. If you don’t supply the documents in a timely manner, you can delay the entry of your discharge.

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    Can A Judge Turn Down A Bankruptcy Petition

    A judge may decide that you have enough income or assets to repay your debts under Chapter 13 rather than eliminate your debts under Chapter 7. The judge may dismiss your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case in the following cases:

    • If you are not eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief AND do not convert to Chapter 13, or
    • If you do not qualify for bankruptcy relief due to a previous case being dismissed. 11 U.S.C. § 707
    • You received a discharge under Chapter 7 within 8 years prior to the date of filing your new Chapter 7 case. 11 U.S.C. § 727

    A trustee is assigned to each bankruptcy case and will determine if you can pay back some of the debt that you owe.

    So What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Exactly

    Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to erase overwhelming debt and get a fresh start managing your finances. It can relieve you of the responsibility to repay your creditors and eliminate most or all your current debt. This option is designed to give debtors a clean financial slate.

    A critical benefit of filing bankruptcy is that all debt collection efforts must stop as soon as you file. This benefit can provide relief from demanding letters and phone calls that only add stress to an already challenging financial situation.

    Another advantage of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that it does not require you to file a repayment plan. Instead, you are allowed to retain your assets, and the courts discharge all your qualifying debts.

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    General Timeline For A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

    Knowing what you need to do before, during, and after filing will provide a better idea of what your Chapter 7 bankruptcy timeline could look like. Before filing, you must complete a credit counseling course online or by phone. After you have completed counseling, you will submit bankruptcy forms.

    You must list your property and the creditors you owe, including information about your financial transactions on these forms. You will also need to mail a copy of your most recently filed income tax return to the bankruptcy trustee. They may ask for additional documents from you, as well. Theres more detailed information about this below.

    How Long Does A Bankruptcy Case Take

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    Whether a case is a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, the basic steps in the process are the same. Generally, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case will take approximately 4 to 6 months from the date when the case is filed until the case is closed. A Chapter 13 case will typically last 36 to 60 months from the date of filing.

    The sequence of events in a typical Chapter 7 case include the following:

    • Client completes the first consumer credit counseling course.
    • Bankruptcy documents reviewed by clients and attorney.
    • Meeting scheduled with Trustee approximately 20 days after case is filed and Clerks Office mails the notice of the meeting of creditors.
    • Client and attorney attend meeting of creditors together.
    • Client completes the second consumer credit counseling course.
    • Approximately 90 days after the meeting of creditors the Clerks Office will mail the discharge order demonstrating the termination of any personal liability on the debts included within the bankruptcy documents.
    • Approximately 14 days after the discharge order is issued, then the Clerks Office will mail the final decree that signals the end of the bankruptcy case.

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    What Should I Know About Filing For Bankruptcy

    A few things will happen when you file for bankruptcy:

    • You will need to take credit counseling and be a California resident. Before you sign up for credit counseling, talk to a bankruptcy lawyer at our law firm. We can recommend online or phone counseling that fits your needs. You need to be a California resident at least 90 days before filing. If you plan to pay any creditor prior to filing, talk to a lawyer first. Paying one creditor and not others could jeopardize your bankruptcy.
    • The day you file, theautomatic stay goes into effect.Automatic stay protection means that creditors and debt collectors cannot call you asking for payment. The court will send notices to all your listed creditors. If they call, refer them to your attorney. The stress of bill collection will stop when you file for bankruptcy.
    • The process includes your intentions and creditors’ meetings.In Chapter 7 bankruptcies, a U.S. trustee may seize assets such as property to repay your creditors and eliminate your debts. Talk to your attorney about reaffirming a secured debt if you wish to retain a certain asset. During the process, creditors will inform the court of any concerns they may have. When creditors have submitted their proofs of claim and your non-exempt property has been liquidated, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy will be final. Your lawyer will keep you informed about the progress of your filing.

    Contact us onlineor give us a call at 675-3866 to learn more.

    Before Filing Bankruptcy: Complete Credit Counseling Course

    Description

    Before you file for bankruptcy, you must complete a credit counseling course from an approved credit counseling agency. These courses generally last 60 to 90 minutes, and may be completed in person, on the internet, or over the phone. For a list of approved credit counseling agencies, you may visit .

    Upon completion of the course, you will receive a Certificate of Credit Counseling.

    Deadline

    You may complete the credit counseling course any time within 180 days BEFORE you file for bankruptcy.

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    Filing For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Yourself

    Pro se litigants are expected to follow the rules and procedures in federal courts and should be familiar with the United States Bankruptcy Code, the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and the local rules of the court in which the case is filed, the U.S. Bankruptcy court says on its website.

    Those filing pro se can hire a non-attorney petition preparer, but the prepares can only enter information into forms, they cant offer legal advice or assist in other ways.

    Cibik and Solomon both say that while hiring a bankruptcy lawyer isnt necessary, hiring one can be a huge help. The process will end up costing between $1,500 and $2,500.

    The Bankruptcy Code is complex almost as complex as the Tax Code, said Cibik.. He served as a bankruptcy trustee under Chief Bankruptcy Judge Emil Goldhaber. My favorite quote from was, if you DIY, its almost like performing brain surgery on yourself.

    Solomon said that hes had people come to him for help after trying for months to do it themselves.

    What Debts Are Discharged In Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

    How Long Does Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Take?

    A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will generally discharge your unsecured debts, such as credit card debt, medical bills and unsecured personal loans. The court will discharge these debts at the end of the process, generally about four to six months after you start.

    Some types of unsecured debts usually aren’t discharged through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, including:

    • Personal injury debts you owe due to an accident while you were intoxicated
    • Unsecured debts that you intentionally left off your filing

    Your creditor could also object and keep certain debts from getting discharged. For example, a credit card company could object to the debt from recent luxury goods purchases or cash advances, and the court may decide you still need to repay this portion of the credit card’s balance.

    Additionally, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may discharge the debt you owe on secured loans. Secured loans are those backed by collateral, such as your home for a mortgage, or when a creditor has a lien on your property. However, even if the debt is discharged, the creditor may still have the right to foreclose on or repossess your property.

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    Filing The Bankruptcy Petition

    The bankruptcy petition is the most complicated part of this process. The petition is an intricate document that describes and categorizes all of your outstanding debts using a strict format.

    Generally, a bankruptcy lawyer will create this document for you after asking you questions about your financial situation and looking over your financial documents.

    Once your lawyer collects the information and drafts the document, you formally file the petition with the courts. This officially starts the bankruptcy timeline.

    How Long Does A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Take

    A Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves a repayment plan, so it takes quite a bit longer to complete. Typical Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases last 3 to 5 years. As part of the repayment plan, secured debts, like car loans are paid off. Depending on the type of debt you have, this type of bankruptcy may provide more debt relief than a Chapter 7 filing. Itâs always best to speak to a bankruptcy attorney about a Chapter 13 filing, as there are many moving parts in the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process.

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    Start The Process Of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy With The Jones Law Firm

    If you have questions about the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process, do not hesitate to contact the Jones Law Firm LLC., today. We can go over the bankruptcy process and determine if a Chapter 7 filing is right for you. With offices in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, The Jones Law Firm works with clients in and around Columbus and throughout central Ohio.

    Contact us today for a free consultation.

    Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Discharge Timeline

    Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Timeline

    While it’s possible that you could receive a discharge within as few as 82 days after filing your case, it would be unusual. The court usually needs an additional twenty days to accommodate scheduling and other procedural requirements.

    So that you’ll know what to expect, the Chapter 7 discharge timeline below covers all aspects of a typical bankruptcy filing, from the initial gathering of documents up until receiving the discharge, and should help clarify how long it will take to get a Chapter 7 discharge:

    • Gathering documents. You’ll start by locating financial information, such as bills banking, retirement, and investment account statements paycheck stubs and tax returns.
    • Preparing the paperwork. You’ll disclose all aspects of your finances on official bankruptcy forms. Once completed, the average bankruptcy petition, including schedules and other required documents, will be between 35 and 50 pages.
    • Completing the credit counseling course. If you’re an individual bankruptcy debtor, you’ll also need to take a credit counseling course from an approved provider. Business entities are exempt from this requirement. Most courses can be completed online within a few hours.
    • Passing the deadline for creditors to object. Creditors can object to the court discharging its debt but must do so within 60 days of the first day set for the 341 meeting of creditors. The court will wait until this deadline passes before issuing the discharge.

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    A Creditor Objects To Dischargeability Of A Debt

    If the trustee or a creditor challenges your general discharge, the court will not enter your discharge order until the challenge is resolved. If a creditor objects to the discharge of a particular debt, the court will usually enter the general discharge with the understanding that the particular debt will be discharged only if the court determines that it is dischargeable.

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