One of the most common questions regarding bankruptcy is one of the simplest: what is going to happen? That’s why we find it so helpful to make sure that everyone even considering filing knows each and every step that can be expected along the way. Here is your timeline of events to expect during the bankruptcy process:
Immediately upon filing:
As soon as you file your bankruptcy petition, the court will issue an automatic stay. This injunction prevents creditors from taking legal (or collection) action against you while the bankruptcy case is being handled. It stays in force until the bankruptcy is settled or until lifted by the court.
You are also appointed a bankruptcy trustee. The trustee is a federal employee that meets with you and will oversee your bankruptcy case.
15 Days Later:
Certain papers have to be filed by this date declaring assets, liabilities, expenses and income of the debtor. While they are required within 15 days of filing, they are usually included with the initial petition.
The court will schedule a meeting between you, your trustee and your creditors.
30 Days Later:
Papers must be filed declaring your intention to keep property serving as collateral or hand it over to the creditor/s. This must occur within 30 days of filing or by the date of the meeting with your creditors set up by the trustee – whichever comes first.
3 to 6 Weeks Later:
The meeting with your creditors that is set up by your bankruptcy trustee typically occurs during this time period. If you do not attend this meeting, your bankruptcy is dismissed.
6 Weeks Later:
Within 6 weeks of initially filing your petition for bankruptcy, you must file a certificate from an attorney that you have been advised of your options. A statement regarding any projected income increases or expenditures must also be filed by this time.
4 to 6 Months Later:
Successfully filing for Chapter 7 will generally lead to a discharge of debt within 4 to 6 months.
If you’re still confused about what to expect please get in touch to ask questions. We know that making the decision to file for bankruptcy can be a difficult one. Don’t panic – we know exactly what is coming and it’s our job to make sure that you know just what to expect when you file.