How long does bankruptcy take?

I often get asked this question and it depends on the chapter.  A chapter 13 can take up to 5 years to pay off but the much more common chapter 7 is far shorter. 

With a chapter 7 I usually speak to clients on the phone about their situation and then we meet if they want to go forward.  I tell them which documents I need and we sign a fee agreement and I give them a questionnaire to fill out.

It usually takes a few weeks to collect the documents and enter all of the information in the software program to begin a chapter 7.  If there is an emergency and the case needs to be filed quickly then a much faster filing can be done.

After that we usually meet and  the debtor(s) sign the bankruptcy petition and schedules I file the case electronically.  I send the required documents to the trustee after I file.

After that we get a  341 hearing with a trustee in 30 days.  60 days after that we usually get a discharge.  So it is really only 90 days for the whole process from filing to discharge.  In special cases there are issues that can hold up the process but these situations are rare.

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