Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
How long does a bankruptcy take?
Filing for bankruptcy is a legal process that allows individuals or businesses to eliminate or repay their debts under the protection of the bankruptcy court. The length of time it takes to complete a bankruptcy depends on several factors, including the type of bankruptcy being filed, the complexity of the case, and the individual's ability to fulfill their obligations under the bankruptcy plan. Here is a general overview of how long it takes to complete a bankruptcy.
How long will a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Take?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as "liquidation bankruptcy," is the most common type of bankruptcy for individuals. It involves the sale of the debtor's non-exempt assets to pay off their debts. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it typically takes about four to six months to complete the process.
To begin the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process, the debtor must file a petition with the bankruptcy court, along with a list of their debts, assets, and income. They must also attend a meeting with their creditors, known as the "341 meeting," where they will be questioned about their financial situation.
After the 341 meeting, the bankruptcy trustee appointed by the court will review the debtor's assets and determine which ones are non-exempt and can be sold to pay off their debts. The trustee will also review the debtor's income and expenses to determine whether they are eligible for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
If the debtor is found eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the process will proceed to the discharge stage, where the court will issue an order discharging the debtor's debts. This usually occurs within four to six months of the date the bankruptcy petition was filed.
How long will a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy take?
Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also known as "reorganization bankruptcy," is a type of bankruptcy available to individuals with regular income who can pay off some of their debts over a period of three to five years. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it typically takes about three to five years to complete the process. Actual "court process" time takes 4-6 months.
To begin the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process, the debtor must file a petition with the bankruptcy court, along with a plan outlining how they will pay off their debts. The debtor must also attend a meeting with their creditors, known as the "341 meeting," where they will be questioned about their financial situation.
After the 341 meeting, the bankruptcy court will review the debtor's repayment plan and determine whether it is feasible. If the plan is approved, the debtor must make monthly payments to the bankruptcy trustee, who will distribute the funds to the creditors according to the terms of the plan.
The length of the Chapter 13 repayment period depends on the debtor's income and the amount of their debts. The repayment period is generally three years if the debtor's annual income is less than the median income for their state, and five years if their annual income is higher.
Once the debtor has completed their repayment plan, the bankruptcy court will issue an order discharging any remaining eligible debts. This usually occurs within three to five years of the date the bankruptcy petition was filed depending on the length of time that the plan was approved for.