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How Long Does a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Take After Filing?

April 11, 2022

If you’re considering filing bankruptcy, you undoubtedly want a quick resolution. Uncertainties about your finances can leave you treading water, after all, resulting in serious stress and hardship. Fortunately, filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy offers a fairly predictable path to a brand-new start. All in all, you can expect the proceedings to take about four to five months total, barring any complicating factors. To help you decide if this is the right move for you, here’s a look at the typical Chapter 7 bankruptcy timeline.

Typical Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Timeline

Upon deciding to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you’ll move through the following steps.

Filing the Bankruptcy Petition

Filing the bankruptcy petition is your first step. The petition clearly outlines your financial situation to the court. While filling out the forms, you must list your income, assets, and debts plus any other requested information. To speed through this process, you’ll want to hire a lawyer to handle all the paperwork and filing steps.

Attending the Court Hearing

Upon filing the bankruptcy petition, you’ll need to wait for the court to schedule your hearing. In most areas, you can expect to get a hearing date scheduled about 30 days out. Your lawyer will notify you about the date of the hearing and what to expect during that court visit.

Waiting for Debt Discharge

As long as the hearing date is not continued for any reason, your debts will end up discharged about 60 days later. If you’re working with a lawyer, they will do all they can to prevent disruptions to this timeline.

About 30 days after your discharge paperwork comes through, your bankruptcy will get listed as closed, completing this journey. You can then start anew in rebuilding your credit and maintaining a good financial outlook well into the future.

How to Avoid Debt Discharge Delays

With help from your lawyer, you can avoid unnecessary delays that extend out your Chapter 7 bankruptcy timeline. You’ll then get your debts discharged within five months tops, letting you move on from your financial difficulties fast.

The most common ways to avoid debt discharge delays are:

  • Complete your personal financial management course when requested
  • Provide all requested information in full and well before the given deadline
  • Quickly answer all questions creditors send your way during the bankruptcy hearing

Not all delays are avoidable. Creditor disputes, property issues, and other complicated matters can push out your discharge date. Your lawyer will work hard in resolving all issues, so you can start fresh as soon as possible.

Need More Information on Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

If you’d like more information about filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, please feel free to call 818-855-5950 to reach our team at SM Law Group. We will set up a free consultation appointment where we can discuss all the details of your case. During that appointment, we will help you understand what to expect, including all potential delays. So, to best understand the journey ahead, reach out to our team at your earliest convenience.

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