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Bankruptcy Timeline

When an individual decides to pursue a bankruptcy in New York, the entire bankruptcy process can be a very stressful and time-consuming period. Depending on the type of bankruptcy an individual chooses to file or is eligible to file,  the bankruptcy process may take as little as three to four months to complete, or it can take as many as three to five years. However, the most important step to take when deciding whether to file for bankruptcy is to initially consult with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in Long Island.

Long Island Bankruptcy Lawyer

Contact the law firm of Andrew M. Doktofsky, P.C. at (631) 673-9600 for a free consultation about filing for bankruptcy in New York. Call today to discuss your questions regarding bankruptcy proceedings and the bankruptcy process timeline throughout the areas of Suffolk County and Nassau County, New York.


Long Island Bankruptcy Timeline Information Center


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Effect of Prior Bankruptcy Filings

Before an individual can determine if they are eligible to file for bankruptcy, or whether they should file for bankruptcy, the most important step is to consult with a knowledgeable Long Island bankruptcy lawyer.

When consulting with an attorney, one of the first questions that you will be asked is whether you have previously filed for bankruptcy and, if so, how long ago you filed for bankruptcy. The following types of prior bankruptcy filings will have an effect on a current bankruptcy filing (Note: the time periods run from the date of filing of the prior bankruptcy case):

  • An individual who has received a Chapter 7 discharge in a case filed within the preceding eight years is not eligible to receive a Chapter 7 discharge. However, they may still be eligible to file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
  • If an individual has received a Chapter 13 discharge in a case filed within the preceding six years of the current bankruptcy filing, they are not eligible to receive a Chapter 7 discharge. (There are exceptions to this rule, depending on the percentage of debt that was paid through the prior Chapter 13 plan). However, they may still be eligible for a Chapter 13 discharge.
  • If an individual has received a Chapter 7discharge in a case filed within four years before the present bankruptcy filing, they are not eligible to receive a Chapter 13 discharge.
  • An individual who received a Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge in a case filed within two years of the current filing is not eligible to receive a Chapter 13 discharge.

A person cannot file for bankruptcy if they had been a debtor in a pending bankruptcy case at any time in the preceding 180 days and; the case was dismissed by the court for willful failure of the debtor to abide by orders of the court, or to appear before the court in proper prosecution of the case; or the debtor voluntarily dismissed the bankruptcy proceeding following a request by a creditor for relief from the automatic stay.

Additionally, in order to file for bankruptcy in New York, the debtor must have resided in the particular federal district for at least 90 days before the bankruptcy filing.


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Effect of Pre-Bankruptcy Transfers and Purchases

Any assets transferred within the six-year period before the bankruptcy filing with the intent to hinder, delay or defraud any entity, or that were transferred for less than fair value than when the debtor was insolvent, may be recovered by the bankruptcy trustee.

Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings, a debtor may be denied a discharge if they transferred assets within one year of the bankruptcy filing with the intent to defraud creditors. Additionally, any preferential payments to insiders (family members, friends or business associates), for debts owed to insiders, made within one year before the filing may be recovered by the bankruptcy trustee.

Debts aggregating more than $650 to any one creditor for luxury purchases, made within 90 days before a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing are presumed to be non-dischargeable. Cash advances aggregating more than $925 owed to any one creditor, made within 70 days of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, are presumed to be non-dischargeable.


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Filing for Bankruptcy in New York

Once you have determined that filing for bankruptcy is the right step for you, it is important to know if you are eligible to file, and if so, which type of bankruptcy you should file. The two most common types of bankruptcy for consumers are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Consult with an experienced Long Island bankruptcy lawyer today to determine which type of bankruptcy is right for you, and read more about New York bankruptcy eligibility.

After you have determined which type of bankruptcy to file, your bankruptcy lawyer will file a petition on your behalf with the bankruptcy court. As soon as the petition is filed, the automatic stay goes into effect, which, with certain exceptions, prevents creditors from pursuing debts owed by the debtor.


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After the Bankruptcy Petition is Filed

In most cases, the bankruptcy petition is accompanied by various schedules listing the debtor’s assets, debts, and other information. If, for some reason, these schedules were not filed with the petition, they must be filed within 15 days after the bankruptcy petition is filed. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings, a reorganization plan must also be filed with the court within 15 days after filing the petition. The debtor must start making payments on their bankruptcy plan within 30 days of filing of the bankruptcy case.

After the bankruptcy case is filed, the bankruptcy court will send a notice to the debtor’s creditors, informing them of the date of filing, the case number, the date of the Meeting of Creditors, and the deadline to object to discharge. In a Chapter 13 case, the notice will also list the deadline for filing a claim with the bankruptcy court.

Typically, within three to five weeks after the filing of a bankruptcy petition, the debtor must appear at what is called the Section 341 Meeting, or the Meeting of Creditors, under 11 U.S.C. § 341.

In a Chapter 7 case, the Meeting of Creditors is generally the only time that the debtor will appear in court. Creditors will rarely attend the meeting. At the meeting, the debtor will be sworn in under oath and the bankruptcy trustee appointed to the proceeding will ask questions about the debtor’s financial situation. Read more about common questions at the Meeting of Creditors. If the debtor does not appear at this meeting, their case will be dismissed. In a Chapter 13 case, a Confirmation Hearing will be held within 20 to 45 days after the meeting of creditors. The debtor is generally required to attend the confirmation hearing, although the debtor’s appearance may be excused if the debtor’s attorney appears at the hearing.

Within 30 days after the conclusion of the Meeting of Creditors, the bankruptcy trustee and any other party in interest to the proceedings may file an objection to the debtor’s claims of exemptions in property. Additionally, the debtor’s creditors must file any objections to the debtor’s discharge, or the discharge ability of a particular debt, within 60 days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors


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The Bankruptcy Discharge

If there are no objections to the debtor’s discharge, a Chapter 7 debtor will receive a discharge after the 60 day period to make any objection has passed. If no creditors object in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding, the discharge will be granted after the three or five-year repayment plan has been completed

Before a debtor can receive a discharge, the debtor must also complete a post-bankruptcy personal financial management course. This course must be completed after filing the bankruptcy petition, but before a discharge will be granted.


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Long Island Bankruptcy Timeline Resources

The Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York - This court serves the Eastern District of New York, including the counties of Nassau, Suffolk, Brooklyn and Queens, and is a part of the U.S District Court system. All bankruptcy proceedings in the Eastern District of New York are filed in this court.

Chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Code – Title 11 of the United States Code, which is also known as the federal Bankruptcy Code, contains all of the United State’s laws regarding bankruptcy. This link is directly to the laws pertaining to Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings.

Chapter 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code – Title 11 of the United States Code, which is also known as the federal Bankruptcy Code, contains all of the United State’s laws regarding bankruptcy. This link is directly to the laws pertaining to Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings.


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Andrew M. Doktofsky, P.C. | Long Island Bankruptcy Attorney

Contact the law firm of Andrew M. Doktofsky, P.C. today for a free consultation about your bankruptcy timeline questions throughout Suffolk County and Nassau County, New York. Andrew Doktofsky is an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in Long Island who will answer your bankruptcy questions. Call (631) 673-9600 about your bankruptcy timeline questions in New York.