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What's the timeline for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is sometimes the right choice, especially when a person's income has no chance of catching up to their debts. Bankruptcy can help eliminate debt and get you back on your feet. In fact, it is relatively quick and painless once you start the process.

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you'll be liquidating some of your assets (unless they fall under exemptions) and using those funds to pay back creditors. Once you do that, the court reviews the case and discharges the remaining debts.

What is the timeline for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

The timeline usually does not extend past 100 days, which is great for people looking to get in control of their finances quickly.

  • Prior to filing, you should complete a credit counseling course.
  • On day one, you'll file a bankruptcy petition and pay the filing fees. Usually, the court has ways of helping you with filing fees if they are too expensive.
  • Between now and day 14, it's important to file a Certificate of Credit Counseling, schedules, statements, lists and payment advice.
  • Next, between days 13 and 33, you'll need to provide your tax returns to your trustee. This has to happen 7 days before the Meeting of Creditors, which happens between day 20 and 40. This meeting is also known as the 341(a) meeting legally.
  • Between day 20 and 30, you'll file a statement of intention.
  • Between days 50 and 70, you need to meet the deadline to perform the statement of intention.
  • Between day 80 and 100, you'll have a deadline to complete a financial management training course. You'll also need to complete Form 423 and go through reaffirmation agreements.
  • Following these steps, the discharge will usually be granted.

If this seems complicated, don't worry. Your attorney can help walk you through the process.

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