All About The Chapter 7 Discharge Timeline

File for Bankruptcy All About The Chapter 7 Discharge Timeline

All About The Chapter 7 Discharge Timeline

Those deciding to file for Chapter 7 do so because of unmanageable financial hardship and stress. Once deciding to file, it makes sense to want your qualified debt discharged promptly.

The process to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy may seem highly tedious and lengthy. Fortunately, DoNotPay's product to file for bankruptcy makes the process more efficient and far less stressful. 

You will want to know upfront what to expect regarding the timeline for discharging debt under Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy represents a federal court process to assist those experiencing severe financial circumstances, eliminating debt or paying it off under bankruptcy court protection.

Filing options for bankruptcy include Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. While Chapter 13 works best for people with significant assets and a steady income, those with few viable assets and little or no income usually need to opt to file for Chapter 7. 

Under Chapter 7, the filer may keep assets they need for everyday life, such as a home and a motor vehicle of reasonable value. They may also keep benefits such as Social Security and Unemployment and their retirement accounts.

Under Chapter 7, you will need to release luxury items and recent credit card purchases.

When does it make sense to file for Chapter 7?

The decision to file for Chapter 7 should come with a degree of thought and after exploring other possibilities. Listed below, you'll find indications that filing for Chapter 7 represents an appropriate step:

  • Your debt to income ratio comes in at over 40%
  • Your negotiating efforts with creditors proved unsuccessful
  • You can't rely on a source of income
  • Your income does not cover you're your debt obligations
  • You've attempted to control your spending on your own or through debt consolidation agencies and failed.

What Chapter 7 doesn't discharge:

Before filing for Chapter 7, it's vital to understand what debts it will not cover:

Legal finesRecent income tax debtMost student loans
Alimony and child supportRestitution you’re ordered to pay through a civil action suitMaterial goods from credit card purchases made in the last 90 days

What you should expect from filing for Chapter 7 regarding the bankruptcy timeline when filing on your own:

You should expect the Chapter 7 process to take from four to six months before reaching the stage where it discharges your debts. The process involves many steps, and it also requires you to pay a filing fee and take a credit counseling course. Below, you'll find the basic timeline of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy:

The Chapter 7 bankruptcy process consists of many steps. Your obligation includes gathering information required by the court and the trustee, taking a credit counseling course, paying a filing fee, which sets the court process in motion, attending a "meeting with creditors," and more. The judge could discharge your debt once all that happens.

Most cases follow the same basic timeline.

  1. Gather all the required documents. The documents required will include state or federally issued identification, proof of income, two years of tax returns, and information regarding real estate holdings and retirement accounts.
  2. You must take a credit counseling course within 180 days of filing the petition. The agency must meet the approval of the U.S. Trustee Program Office.
  3. Filling out 23 forms that deal with your assets and declaration that you're filing voluntarily.
  4. Pay the filing fee of $335 or make arrangements with the judge to pay it in installments.
  5. A meeting called the '341 hearing' takes place with the filer, appointed trustee, and creditor present. This meeting determines how much your creditors receive. You may take 45 days to list properties you don't want handed over for liquidation, and the trustee may take up to 30 days to respond to your requests.
  6. In addition to the credit management course you tool before filing, you must also complete a Debtor's Education course.
  7. The creditors may take up to 60 days to object to your petition. Once that deadline passes, the discharge procedure begins, and it then takes another two weeks to finalize the process.

Let DoNotPay help you with excellent legal advice when filing for Chapter 7:

DoNotPay works diligently to streamline the Chapter 7 discharge timeline. As the premier robotic lawyer, we possess the legal knowledge to move you forward in the process reasonably and efficiently.

Just follow these five simple steps:

  1. Search for File for Bankruptcy on DoNotPay.


  2. Put together a list of your debts, expenses, and assets. If you need help accessing information like your credit report, DoNotPay can help you get your report.


  3. Let DoNotPay walk you through your bankruptcy options and help you determine whether a Chapter 7, Chapter 12, or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for you.


  4. DoNotPay will then help find the best credit counseling course near you, which you need to complete before filing your bankruptcy forms.


  5. Lastly, DoNotPay will gather all of the forms you need (including available fee waivers) and help you locate your nearest bankruptcy court. Your next step involves completing the required forms, preparing your filing fee, and filing the application with your local court.


And that's it! Once done, the court will give you:

  • The bankruptcy case number
  • Your bankruptcy trustee's name
  • The location and date and time of your meeting with your trustee
  • At this point, you've completed the filing of your case. At this point, the automatic stay will protect you from all debt collectors, and you may breathe a sigh of relief.

Your trustee will then contact you for further financial documents you will need to provide. Make sure to attend your meeting and complete the post-filing bankruptcy debtor's course!

DoNotPay will help you with many other aspects of bankruptcy and related problems:

Just follow the links below for more information and guidance.

What else is possible with DoNotPay?

As the premier Robotic Lawyer and Artificial Intelligence Attorney, DoNotPay offers solutions to your personal management concerns and an array of other legal problems. Check out just a few of the ways DoNotPay may help you:

We invite you to visit us here for more information on the products DoNotPay offers to manage your business and legal concerns.

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