When you make the decision to file bankruptcy, your next thought is likely to be how long does bankruptcy take. Your attorney understands that you have been under a great deal of stress as you have tried to handle your debt problem on your own. The frustration, fear, and anxiety of dealing with angry creditors, abusive debt collectors, and the thought of losing your home, car, and other property causes emotional and physical stress; therefore, you want to know how long bankruptcy takes and how quickly can you get on with your life.
Because our first priority is our clients’ well-being, we have worked very hard to streamline the bankruptcy process in our office to get your bankruptcy case filed and completed as quickly as possible. While we cannot control the deadlines and time limits imposed by the bankruptcy court and bankruptcy law, we do everything within our power to limit the amount of time you will spend in bankruptcy.
Filing Your Bankruptcy Case
You can file your bankruptcy case in just two appointments with our office. Some bankruptcy law firms require several appointments to complete and file your case — this is unnecessary. Your first appointment is free of charge. Our experienced bankruptcy attorneys will discuss your options for resolving your debt problems and the pros and cons of filing a bankruptcy case. If you decide to file bankruptcy, you will immediately meet with one of our legal assistants to retain the office and provide the information needed to complete your bankruptcy forms (we do not send you home with a stack of papers to complete as other law firms do).
Your second appointment is the “Review and Sign Appointment.” For this appointment you will meet with your bankruptcy attorney again, but this time the attorney will review the completed forms to ensure the information is complete and accurate before you sign your bankruptcy petition. That is it! We file the forms with the court and you are provided a case number. This is the same process regardless of whether you file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
How Long Will I be in a Chapter 7 Case?
Almost all Chapter 7 cases are filed and completed within three to four months. Your meeting with the bankruptcy trustee will be scheduled approximately one month after your case is filed. This short meeting is the only meeting you will attend in almost every case. Creditors have 60 days from the meeting date to file objections to discharge (again, this is very rare). Once that deadline passes, the court will issue an order of discharge and your case will be closed. Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is not as complicated, time-consuming, or scary as you may have been led to believe by what other people have told you or what you may have read from other sources.
How Long Will I be in a Chapter 13 Case?
A Chapter 13 case is different from a Chapter 7 because it is a reorganization of debt rather than a liquidation. The process of filing the bankruptcy petition and attending the meeting are the same as in a Chapter 7 case; however, a court hearing is held to confirm your proposed Chapter 13 plan. In almost every case, the confirmation hearing does not require the attendance of the debtor or the attorney. Your bankruptcy plan provides the details of how you intend to reorganize your debt. This plan must be approved by the court; however, our attorneys have extensive experience drafting Chapter 13 plans to avoid issues that delay confirmation of the plan.
The length of time you will be in Chapter 13 depends on the length of your plan. Many Chapter 13 plans are designed to be paid over a 60-month period; however, some plans can be completed in 36 months. Even though you may be in Chapter 13 for up to five years, you will not be required to attend hearings or file complicated reports. All you need to do is make your monthly payments and comply with the terms of the plan to receive your bankruptcy discharge. The main thing to remember is that once you complete your plan, most, if not all of your unsecured debt will be eliminated for a fraction of what you owed on the account prior to filing bankruptcy.
After likely wondering for a long period of time how long bankruptcy takes, we hope you are relieved to see that it is not as long of a process as you expected. The small period of time you will be involved with the bankruptcy process is just a small price to pay to receive a life free from overwhelming debt. The moment you sign up for your free bankruptcy consultation, you will begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.