Bankruptcy – How long will it take?

Once you’ve made the difficult decision to file for bankruptcy, you’re naturally anxious to get the process underway and fully resolved. The truth is that the length of bankruptcy proceedings can vary based on a number of factors, but on average, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will take somewhere around 105 days or more from the time of filing to the close of the case, which is known as the discharge.

What’s important to understand about the process is that no matter how long the process takes, you get relief from debt right away. As soon as the bankruptcy petition is filed, a stay is placed on your debt, so you no longer rack up interest.

Basic steps involved with a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy:
The case is filed with the bankruptcy court.
You attend a meeting with your creditors called a 341 meeting.
You complete a financial management course within 45 days of the 341 meeting.
The bankruptcy is discharged within 60 days of the 341 meeting.
How fast everything can be handled will depend largely on you. If you’re able to supply your bankruptcy lawyer with the right documentation up front, you can greatly reduce the amount of time it takes for your chapter 7 case. You should also continue to turn over any new documents that you receive throughout the proceedings.

What do you need for your attorney?

Pay stubs
Any information about changes of employment
Copies of your tax returns
All of your bills
Records of your creditors that include their
Official address
Account number
Any collateral involved in the loan
Current amount due
While it can be embarrassing to have to disclose all of your debt to your attorney, don’t let shame or worry hold you back from sharing everything. Withholding information will result in delays to the bankruptcy proceedings. Be cooperative and honest to help the process go as smoothly as possible.

Ultimately, the best way to determine whether or not bankruptcy is right for you is to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney about your specific situation. With more than 25 years of experience, Attorney Robert A. Boyd of Willoughby, Ohio, can help you weigh the options and decide if bankruptcy is your best option for debt relief. Contact his office at 440-230-3230 to schedule an appointment for a free consultation.

For additional information regarding bankruptcy law, check out the Ohio State Bar Association

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