Bankruptcy Process: How Long Does A Bankruptcy Case Last?

by John Skiba
Contact

A question I get quite often from clients thinking of filing for bankruptcy is how long the actual bankruptcy case will last. The answer to that question depends on what type or chapter of bankruptcy you will be filing. Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases are relatively short matters that are wrapped up in a few months whereas chapter 13 bankruptcy cases can last anywhere from 3 to 5 years. In the following paragraphs I will go over a typical timeline for a chapter 13 and a chapter 7 bankruptcy case.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

A chapter 7 bankruptcy case begins when a bankruptcy petition is filed with the bankruptcy court. After the bankruptcy petition is filed a Meeting of Creditors is held approximately 30 days later. The Meeting of Creditors is an opportunity for the bankruptcy trustee to ask you questions about the documents you filed with the court.

Subsequent to the Meeting of Creditors you will be required to complete a credit counseling class. Approximately 2 to 3 months after the Meeting of Creditors the bankruptcy court will enter your discharge. The discharge order is issued by the bankruptcy court and is the formal document that eliminates your debts. In most chapter 7 cases the discharge effectively ends your bankruptcy case.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

While chapter 7 bankruptcy is a complete discharge of your debts, a chapter 13 bankruptcy is more of a personal restructuring of your debts. Because of this a chapter 13 case will take anywhere from 3 to 5 years to complete. The chapter 13 bankruptcy case begins just as the chapter 7 bankruptcy with the filing of a bankruptcy petition. Like the chapter 7 case, a chapter 13 case also requires you to attend a Meeting of Creditors with your trustee approximately 30 days after your cases filed.

However, in a chapter 13 case you are required to make monthly payments to your bankruptcy trustee. This is done based on a plan that is submitted to the court at the time your case is initially filed. After the Meeting of Creditors is held, your creditors will have an opportunity to provide input on the plan you proposed to the bankruptcy court.

Anywhere from two to six months after the Meeting of Creditors your bankruptcy trustee will issue a recommendation as to whether your plan should be approved by the court or not. This recommendation is essentially a punch list of items the trustee would like you to address prior to having your plan confirmed by the bankruptcy court. Confirmation of the plan simply means that the bankruptcy trustee and the bankruptcy judge have approved a plan.

Once your bankruptcy case is been confirmed your job is to simply continue making the monthly payment to the trustee who will then distribute the funds to your creditors. Whether your case is a three-year case or a five-year case depends on your monthly income at the time the case was filed.

Those families filing for bankruptcy whose household income is below the average income in Arizona for a family of their size will have the option of completing a three-year plan. However, if your household income is above that of the typical family of your size in Arizona, you will be required to complete a five-year chapter 13 plan.

I will regularly get the question of whether a chapter 13 plan can be paid off early. Generally the answer to this question is no. If you begin to get additional income during your chapter 13 case, you will be required to turn over any increase in disposable income to the bankruptcy court that will then pay those funds to your creditors.

I offer a free bankruptcy consultation where we can discuss your specific situation and determine if bankruptcy is a good option for you.

Arizona bankruptcy attorney John Skiba can be reached at 480-420-4028 or via e-mail at john@skibalaw.com .

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© John Skiba, Arizona Consumer Law Group, PLC | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

John Skiba
Contact
more
less

Arizona Consumer Law Group, PLC on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.
Feedback? Tell us what you think of the new jdsupra.com!