How Long Does It Take To File Bankruptcy?

File for Bankruptcy How Long Does It Take To File Bankruptcy?

How Long Does It Take To File Bankruptcy?

The length of time it takes to file for bankruptcy depends on the type of bankruptcy being filed. DoNotPay can help you get started.

While bankruptcy can solve a lot of long-term problems and give you the fresh financial start you need going forward, it takes time between your initial steps towards filing to the ultimate discharge of your debt. The bankruptcy process looks for the best outcome for both the creditors and debtors. Bankruptcy trustees look at everything to see where the money for your creditors can be found. You very well may lose some of your assets in the process, which, for most people, is the most painful part of the process, but it is a small price to pay for the opportunity to change your financial outlook and go forward with a clean slate.

When we become accustomed to easily being granted the credit to have our immediate needs met with a payment plan that lasts for too long, it is common to find ourselves in over our heads with our creditors. Services that at first appear to be convenient can soon cost you more than you ever expected to pay. Material goods can bring us pleasure for a long time, but when do you identify what you truly need over what you may want at the moment? While losing your assets to bankruptcy can be a painful experience, it is one you won't soon forget. Moving forward from bankruptcy allows you to change your spending habits and live a healthier financial lifestyle. A lifestyle where you learn to live within your means

What is Bankruptcy?

In short, bankruptcy is where an individual or company unable to pay their creditors is granted loan forgiveness and an opportunity to start fresh.

There are two types of bankruptcies for individuals and couples: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Here is a brief explanation of the differences between the two:

Chapter 7 BankruptcyA Chapter 7 bankruptcy is one where, after an equal distribution to your creditors of the funds gained from the selling of assets, the remainder of a person's debt is discharged, giving them the opportunity for a fresh start.
Chapter 13 BankruptcyA Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to keep your assets and embark on a stringent repayment plan to your creditors. At the end of the payment plan terms, the remaining amount owed is discharged, giving the individual an opportunity to start fresh financially.

What Do I Need to Prepare for Bankruptcy?

Before you file for bankruptcy, you will need to assemble a lot of information for the courts. These are the steps you need to take to prepare for your bankruptcy case:

  1. Gather your current documentation that shows how much you bring in. This includes tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, and benefits verification letters.
  2. Make a list of all of your assets and the value of each one.
  3. Know what you owe. Get a copy of your credit report printed out. Review those items that you find yourself in collections for. Challenge those incorrect items or that you do not believe you owe. Get a verification of debt letter from all of those debts that you question the amount of.
  4. Take your mandatory credit counseling course within 180 days prior to filing.

What You Cannot Do Before Filing Bankruptcy

Taking these actions can get your bankruptcy thrown out and potentially bring fraud charges against you.

You cannot do the following when going into bankruptcy:

  • Give away valuable assets to avoid losing them during bankruptcy.
  • Transferring large chunks of money out of your accounts.
  • Attempt to hide money or assets.
  • Take on new debt.
  • Max out your credit cards

What Happens When I File Bankruptcy?

The first thing that happens when you file for bankruptcy is a stay is placed on your creditors so that they cannot contact you directly in an effort to get payment. 

This stay will end the collection calls, letters, and e-mails. If you are subject to wage garnishment, this puts a stop to all garnishment actions.

You are given a bankruptcy case number and assigned a court-appointed trustee who takes control of your assets and determines how money between your pay and assets should be distributed to your creditors. A creditors 341 meeting is scheduled.

What is a Creditors 341 Meeting?

The 341 meeting will most likely be your only mandatory court appearance during your bankruptcy.

The Creditors 341 meeting is where you verify your identity and be questioned over your assets and liabilities. You will be asked how you reached the numbers in your evaluation of assets, if you are expecting an inheritance, or if you have transferred any assets to others.

Your creditors will have a window of opportunity to challenge or file an exemption to your debt to them being discharged.

What is the Timeline for Filing Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy does not happen overnight. Following are the timelines for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies.

Chapter 7 TimelineChapter 13 Timeline
  • From the date you file your petition with the courts, your 341 meetings will be scheduled approximately 30 days later.
  • From the date of your 341 meeting, creditors will have 30 days to file objection or file for exemption, and 60 days to object to your debt being discharged.
  • From the date of your 341 meeting, you will have 45 days to deal with secured debts, such as car loans, if you want to keep your car.
  • Once all these deadlines have passed, the court will enter the order to discharge your debt. From start to finish, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy takes four to six months.
  • From the date you file your petition with the courts, you will have 21 days to submit your documentation to the trustee.
  • From the date you file, you must start making payments according to your Chapter 13 plan.
  • 341 Meetings take place 30 days after you file. Creditors will have 7 days to object to the payment plan following the 341 meeting.
  • You must file a completion certificate for your debtor education course 75 days after filing.
  • Your duration of payment plans will last from three to five years.
  • Once your payment plans are complete, all leftover debt will be discharged. From start to finish, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will take approximately five and a half years.


File for Bankruptcy Using DoNotPay

You are ready to file and have your documentation together, but the paperwork is daunting. Let DoNotPay complete your filing paperwork for you.

If you want to delete old accounts but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 5 easy 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. All you have to do is complete the required forms, prepare your filing fee, and file the application with your local court.


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

  • Bankruptcy case number
  • Name of your bankruptcy trustee
  • Date, time, and location of your meeting with your trustee

Why Use DoNotPay to File Bankruptcy?

Take away the possibility of any errors that could come from completing the paperwork on your own.

  • Fast – It all starts by clicking on a button in DoNotPay.
  • Easy – Simply supply DoNotPay with all the accounting you have already gathered and let them do the rest.
  • Successful – When DoNotPay completes your paperwork, there won't be any errors of omission. DoNotPay gets your paperwork done right.

When you use DoNotPay to file your bankruptcy, you know that your paperwork is done right and your petition is successfully filed, and the stay is placed on your creditors so that the harassing letters and phone calls can come to an immediate end.

DoNotPay Offers Help in All Areas

DoNotPay does more than just help you file for bankruptcy, we offer solutions to your problems across all areas.

Are you trying to get parking tickets paid for in a different city? DoNotPay can help. Did you get a speeding ticket that you need to contest? DoNotPay can do that too. What about making that elusive appointment with the DMV? DoNotPay helps with DMV appointments too. Did you get scammed trying to purchase concert tickets? Put DoNotPay on it and get your money back. Do you want revenge against Robocalls by getting compensated for them instead? DoNotPay has a tool for that as well. Need to file a suit in small claims court? Absolutely! DoNotPay can help you with that as well. For almost any problem you can think of, DoNotPay has a solution for you.

With DoNotPay, you are one step closer to getting help with a simple click of a button.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

Here are just a few things that DoNotPay can do for you:

Visit DoNotPay now and learn what all DoNotPay can do for you!

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