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How Long Does Bankruptcy Chapter 7 Take?

The Sweeney Law Firm, P.C. Oct. 31, 2019

Dealing with debt can be overwhelmingly stressful. And if you’ve decided to file bankruptcy, chances are you just want the process to be over as soon as possible. But how long does bankruptcy Chapter 7 take?

Depending on the complexity of your case, it usually takes 4-6 months. But things can take a lot longer if you’re not careful. A Memphis bankruptcy can help you through the process while avoiding costly mistakes.

What Is the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process?

File All Necessary Paperwork

Your case starts once you file all Chapter 7 paperwork with the court detailing information about your::

  • Income

  • Debts

  • Expenses

  • Assets

  • Exempt property

  • Recent financial transactions

Attend Your 341 Meeting of Creditors

This is a pivotal meeting because you’ll be able to speak with the creditors. After you’ve filed the paperwork, the court issues an automatic stay, which stops creditors from seizing your assets.

Within 20-40 days of filing, you’ll have a hearing. The bankruptcy trustee will ask a variety of questions while you’re under oath. On rare occasions, the creditors can also ask questions. The meeting with the bankruptcy trustee typically lasts for 10 minutes.

Send Additional Required Documents

If your information is incomplete or creditors raise objections, you’ll need to send over additional documentation. Sometimes not having a valid driver’s license or Social Security card at the meeting results in a delay. Once everything is complete, he creditors have 30 days after the hearing is over to file any objections.

Get Your Certificate After Taking Financial Management Courses

You will have to take two financial management courses to receive your debt discharge. The second course must be completed within 60 days of your 341 Meeting of Creditors. After successful completion, you’ll receive a certificate. Even with a discharge, the case isn’t closed until the court settles any outstanding issues.

What Can Make Your Case Take Longer?

You Failed to Provide Necessary Information

Make sure you’re thorough when it comes to your documents, from expenses, assets, and income, before setting foot in the court. Having all of this ahead of time will help speed up the process.

Your Creditor Has Concerns

There are a few ways a creditor will cause a delay in your case:

  • Brings up any objections or questions regarding your bankruptcy exemptions within 30 days of the 341 hearing.

  • Objects to the court’s ruling of a debt discharge within 60 days.

Your Trustee Is Still Selling Your Property

If your trustee is still trying to sell your non-exempt property, your case stays open. You can still receive a discharge, but your case doesn’t officially close until everything is sold.

You Haven’t Taken Your Financial Education Courses

It’s imperative that you take these courses immediately. The longer you wait to complete the two courses, the longer your bankruptcy case will drag on.

Consult with A Memphis Bankruptcy Lawyer today

How long does bankruptcy Chapter 7 take? It depends on your circumstances, but an experienced attorney can help ensure that you thoroughly prepare your case so that there are no delays in the process. To learn more about filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, contact The Sweeney Law Firm, P.C. today.