If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in Mesa, there are timing issues that should be understood before you file. If you are wondering how long bankruptcy takes, we have provided you with a general timeline so you better understand the process.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Before you may file a petition, you must complete a course in credit counseling from an approved agency. We can supply you with a list of approved providers and the form for filing compliance.
If you have previously received a discharge of debt through bankruptcy, you may file a petition if it has been at least 8 years from the time of discharge.
Between 21 and 40 days after the petition is filed, there will be a meeting of your creditors which you and your attorney will be required to attend. At this meeting, you will be questioned about your financial affairs and any property you own to determine if there are any assets to pay your debt.
If there are any assets available, your creditors will have 90 days to file any claims; government agencies are allowed 120 days to make a claim.
After filing and before the discharge will be approved, you must complete a course in financial management and show compliance by filing the approved form with the Court. We will provide you with the proper form and a list of approved agencies for this educational requirement.
In most cases of Chapter 7 filings, there are no assets to distribute. In these cases between 60 and 90 days following the first meeting of creditors, the discharge order is filed. The bankruptcy is complete.
Where there are assets to be liquidated this can add time. Creditors have the right to file disagreements to the discharge of their debt which will also add time to the process.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
To qualify to file under Chapter 13, 4 years must have passed since the final discharge order under a prior filing of Chapter 7. If there has been an earlier Chapter 13 filing, there must be 2 years since the order for discharge was filed. As in Chapter 7, before you file you must complete a credit counseling course from an approved agency.
After filing, you must file a repayment plan within 14 days. The meeting of creditors will occur between 21 and 60 days of the filing date. You will start making the payments outlined on your plan 30 days after filing even if the plan hasn’t been confirmed. Within 45 days the trustee will hold a confirmation hearing to decide if the plan is viable based on your financial means and your basic expenses.
Under Chapter 13 there is a type of means test based on whether your household income is above or below the state median. If it is below, the time of the repayment plan can be no more than three years. If it is above the state median, it can run no longer than five years. We can assist you in calculating this using the approved format. After all requirements of the repayment plan have been met, your bankruptcy will be discharged.
As you can see the process of bankruptcy is complex and you will need experienced help so that your discharge can be obtained in a timely manner. Our office, Dodge & Vega, PLC, has helped hundreds of individuals and families get through this process and begin to rebuild their financial future. We pride ourselves on giving our clients the benefit of our combined 30 years of success in navigating through the Bankruptcy Code. Contact us now.