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Understanding The Bankruptcy Timeline Chapter 7 And Chapter 13

Depending on the type of bankruptcy an individual files, the bankruptcy process may take as little as three to four months to complete (Chapter 7), or it can take as many as three to five years (Chapter 13). However, the most important step to take when deciding whether to file for bankruptcy is to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

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.

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.

What Happens After The Bankruptcy Petition Is Filed In Court

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 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 rarely attend the meeting. At the meeting, the debtor will be sworn in under oath, and the Chapter 7 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.

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 dischargeability of a particular debt within 60 days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors

In a Chapter 13 case, a confirmation hearing is scheduled to be held within 20 to 45 days after the meeting of creditors, although it is often adjourned for a variety of reasons. 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. Whether the debtor must appear at the confirmation hearing will be determined by the particulars of the case; the judge’s procedures; and the Chapter 13 trustee’s practices.

The Bankruptcy Discharge Timeline

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. In Chapter 13, 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.

Get Started With A Free Consultation About Your Legal Options

Contact The Law Office of Andrew M. Doktofsky, P.C., today for a free consultation about filing for bankruptcy in Suffolk County, Nassau County or Long Island. You can fill out an online contact form or call 631-812-7712.

This is a debt relief agency. I help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.