Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case Timeline
Here is a quick Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Timeline.
1) Before Filing, you must complete mandatory credit counseling course. A list of approved companies can be fond on the Department of Justice website. Your attorney may recommend a company for you to use. Wherever you complete your course, make sure your attorney has a copy of the certificate of completion. Your bankruptcy case cannot be filed without it.
2) Filing the official bankruptcy form. Official forms approved by the bankruptcy court must be filed which list all of your property, creditors and income information. It is important to review your documents prior to filing to ensure all personal information is corrects (including your social security number).
3) Sending Documents to Chapter 7 Trustee. Your case will be assigned to a Chapter 7 Trustee the moment your case is filed. A copy of your most recently filed tax return must be sent to your trustee prior to the 341(a) Meeting of Creditors. This is a requirement under the Bankruptcy Code.
4) Hearing Date and Time. A week after your case is filed, you will receive a Notice of Bankruptcy Filing from the Bankruptcy Court with your 341(a) Meeting of Creditors. This “meeting” is the hearing that you are required to attend. A hearing is set approximately 30 days after the filing of your case. Hearing assignments are automatic and cannot be changed.
5) 60 day waiting period prior to discharge. If there are no assets in your case and the Chapter 7 Trustee does not request further documentation, your case will be set to Discharge and Close 60 days after your hearing. Within these 60 days, you must complete Debtor’s Course in Financial Management (Post-Filing Course) and file the certificate of complete with the court. You can usually complete this course with the same company that helped you in with the Credit Counseling Course in Step 1. Your case will close without a discharge if the Post-Filing Course is not completed and the certificate is filed.
6) Discharge. When your discharge is entered, a copy of the order entered with the court will be mailed to you. It is recommended that you retainer a copy of your discharge in your records. You may need to show the discharge order to future lenders in order to obtain financing.
All-in-all, a no assets Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will last three to four months. During that time, it is important to keep your attorney informed of any changes to your situation. Keeping track of deadlines and hearing times are crucial to obtain a discharge in your bankruptcy case.