Many otherwise financially responsible people have filed bankruptcy due to a loss of employment or a decrease in pay. When these situations occur, there is often little to no alternative sources of funding. One of the first questions most people ask when they are facing bankruptcy is how long does bankruptcy take from filing to discharge?
However, the answer to this question will be dependent on one important factor. That factor is what type of bankruptcy do you intend to file? The two standard chapters of bankruptcy for individuals are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Due to recent changes in the bankruptcy laws, it has become more difficult for individuals to file for Chapter 7. Not only does Chapter 7 involve a total liquidation of all of your assets, the criteria for approval have become more stringent. In the end, a majority of individuals eventually file Chapter 13 after they have filed a bankruptcy petition and have paid a filing fee.
File for Bankruptcy
Before you can find out how long does bankruptcy take for your particular case, you will need to file for bankruptcy. After you file, you will then need to petition all of your creditors to stop them from attempting to collect debts. This is known as an automatic stay. While the automatic stay is in effect, creditors will not be allowed to contact you regarding any past due bills and will not be able to begin repossession proceedings on your property. This petition will need to be filed within a few days after filing for bankruptcy.
After providing the court with a list of all of your creditors, you will then need to provide the court with financial documentation. The court will want paperwork verifying your income, assets and your expenses. If filing for Chapter 13, you will also need to submit a plan for reorganizing your finances.
Meet With Trustees
Next, you will then need to meet with your court appointed trustee(s). During this meeting, your financial reorganization plan will be finalized. This scheduled meeting will occur within three months after you have filed for bankruptcy. Creditors are allowed to be present during the meeting, and can inquire about your submitted repayment plan. The majority of the time creditors do not appear at these meetings. Once the meeting is over, your repayment plan is in effect.
So, how long does bankruptcy take? The entire process can last several months, but a bankruptcy discharge can stay on your credit report for 10 years. A bankruptcy attorney can help you with the bankruptcy process and help you navigate the judicial process.
Need to know more about Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy? Contact us for a free consultation.