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How Long Does Bankruptcy Take?

How long your bankruptcy case takes depends upon the chapter you file under. We usually will have your case filed approximately 10 – 14 days after we receive the documents we need and payment of attorney fees. See our Chapter 7 Timeline and Chapter 13 Timeline for the steps necessary to receive a discharge of your debts in a chapter 7 and chapter 13 case.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case

A typical no asset chapter 7 bankruptcy case from the date of filing the bankruptcy petition and the date the order discharging your debts is entered by the bankruptcy court should be approximately 90 – 120 days. For example, if the bankruptcy case was filed on 10/1/2011, the 341 meeting of the creditors will usually be held 30-45 days from the date the case is filed. Lets say the 341 meeting of the creditors is therefore held on 11/15/2011. The earliest the order of discharge and final decree can be entered by the bankruptcy court is approximately 1/16/2011. Creditors have 60 days following the first date set for the 341 meeting of the creditors to file an adversary proceeding objecting to the discharge of a debt. Once this deadline has passed and the trustee assigned to administer the bankruptcy case has filed their statement of no assets to distribute, the bankruptcy court can then enter the order of discharge and final decree to close the chapter 7 bankruptcy case.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Case

How long a chapter 13 bankruptcy case takes is much more complicated. The most important step is obtaining confirmation or approval of the chapter 13 plan by the bankruptcy court and chapter 13 trustee’s office. How long it takes to confirm a plan depends upon the complexity of the case and whether creditors object to confirmation of the chapter 13 plan. Confirmation can take as long a year in some cases. Generally a chapter 13 plan of reorganization last from three or five years depending upon your gross income. If your gross income is over the median income for the number of people in your household, the chapter 13 plan of reorganization is supposed to be 60 months or five years. If your income is less than the median income for the number of people in your household then the chapter 13 plan can be 36 months or three years. Recently there has been some question as to the length a chapter 13 plan has to be if the chapter 13 statement of current monthly income and calculation of commitment period and disposable income are negative. The theory is that if the disposable income is negative there is not applicable commitment period. This argument is basically taking advantage of poor writing of the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act. The elephant in the room is whether the chapter 13 plan was filed in good faith pursuant to section 1325(a)(3) based upon the totality of the circumstances.

With offices in Redwood City, San Francisco, San Jose, Fremont and Oakland we represent clients throughout the Bay Area including San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Burlingame, Daly City, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Millbrae, Pacifica, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Mateo, South San Francisco, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Mountain View, Palo Alto, bankruptcy lawyers in Santa Clara, bankruptcy attorneys in Sunnyvale, Concord, Danville, Martinez, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, Richmond, San Pablo, San Ramon, Walnut Creek, Berkeley, Dublin, Hayward, Livermore, Pleasanton, San Leandro and Union City.