Any time a major life decision is made, it is helpful to know as much as you can beforehand. This can be seen when kids graduate from high school, and try to figure out whether to attend college and if so what field of study to pick. Another good example is when a person is searching for a job, and is granted an interview at a top choice. Doing a little research on the company and its philosophy can go a long way in showing interest during the interview and is also comes in handy if an offer is made because there is less of an element of surprise about what to expect. One of the most common questions from people thinking about filing for bankruptcy is how long the case will take to finish. When consumers are unable to pay their bills, it is emotionally satisfying to know how long before the situation changes and the creditors stop calling for repayment.
How long a bankruptcy case takes depends on the type of bankruptcy filed. General timelines are as follows:
- A chapter 7 case usually takes between 4 and 6 months. This means that from the date you file, you can expect to receive your discharge in about 4 to 6 months’ time. During this time your creditors are not permitted to contact you about the debt, and once discharge has been entered in the case and the case has been closed at the Courthouse, those same creditors are prohibited from contacting you about the debt. This is because the discharge is the legal mechanism that eliminates the debt, and once a debt has been discharged it is technically no longer owed. Any attempt to collect a discharged debt is a violation of the bankruptcy laws, and creditors can be punished for this action.
- A chapter 13 case lasts from 3 to 5 years. A chapter 13 is not a straight liquidation of debt like a chapter 7 is, rather a chapter 13 is a reorganization of debt. The debtor files a proposed plan of repayment, and the Court approves the plan after creditors are given a chance to object. The same rules on creditor contact with debtors apply in a chapter 13 as are present in a chapter 7 case.
Most debtors prefer a chapter 7, because it eliminates unsecured debt rather than requiring repayment of a portion thereof and because it takes less time to complete. However, not everyone that files bankruptcy qualifies for a chapter 7. There is a complex mathematical computation that must be performed before filing, in order to determine which chapter is appropriate. We can help by doing that calculation for you, and making sure the type of case filed for you is proper.
For more information about bankruptcy, contact us at www.DsouzaLegalGroup.com. We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you.