While the overall idea of chapter 7 bankruptcy may seem simple, discharging the debt to get a fresh start. However, the proceedings can be quite detailed. In theory, disputes can come up at each stage during the process. This can extend the timeline and prevent one from getting the debt relief desired. Those wanting to discharge their debt as soon as possible should familiarize themselves with the timeline to prepare all necessary documentation in advance. This is a good guide to refer to before a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney.
6 – 8 Years Before Filing
Those that filed for bankruptcy before must wait a certain amount of time before filing again. If the prior incident was an also a chapter 7 bankruptcy, eight years must pass before filing again. Those that filed Chapter 13 the first time will need to wait six years or until at least 70% of the unsecured debt has been paid back.
One Year Before Filing
Those considering chapter 7 bankruptcy need to make sure that they do not transfer any significant assets or property to family members or anyone for that matter. This could be looked upon as fraud.
15 Days After Filing
Once the individual has filed, they have just over two weeks to provide the court with specific financial documents. If working with an attorney, they will file this paperwork with the original petition. The court will send all your creditors a notice about the case within 15 days of filing. This will enact an automatic stay that will stop creditors from taking further action to collect the debts.
30 Days After Filing
A statement of intention must be filed within a month. This contains details about the property that will serve as collateral for the debt. Those wishing to keep the property must reaffirm the debt and continue making regular payments. At this point, one has 45 days after filing to either surrender the property or keep it and continue with the payments.
Six Weeks After Filing
Around six weeks after filing, the person who filed must attend a meeting that the court will hold with any creditors that are involved. The bankruptcy trustee will preside over the meeting.
Two or Three Months After the Meeting of Creditors
The creditors involved have 60 days to object to any discharges listed in the petition. If this were to happen, your attorney will help resolve anything that arises. The creditors have 90 days from the meeting to file proofs of claim that specify how much is owed to them, so it can be discharged.
While it is common for things come up along the way, proceedings are typically resolved within six months of the initial filing date. Those wanting to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can turn to John Henderson Law. Their team will guide you through every step of the process and handle all the paperwork.