During your first meeting with our office, we will give you an overview of the entire Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. Most people are pleasantly surprised to hear that an average Chapter 7 case is fairly quick.

An average Chapter 7 bankruptcy takes 3-4 months from filing date to discharge date.  The events in an average case are listed below.  If your case is very complex, there might be a few more events on your timeline.

[fancy_header] At least 3 Days Before Your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing Date[/fancy_header]

    • Get up to date on secured debt payments for assets you want to keep (examples:  car notes and mortgage payments)
    • If you bank at Wells Fargo / Wachovia OR you owe money where you bank: open a new checking account.
    • Complete your pre-filing credit counseling course.

[fancy_header]On Your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing Date[/fancy_header]

    • Give your attorney your balances for all banking, investment, and retirement accounts as of your filing date.
    • Review and sign bankruptcy documents with your attorney.
    • Notify your attorney if any creditors contact you after your case is filed.
    • Stop paying your unsecured creditors if you haven’t already. 

[fancy_header]4-5 Days After Your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing Date[/fancy_header]

    • You will receive some notices from the bankruptcy court.
    • The notices will include the date, time, and location of your Meeting of Creditors.
    • Be prepared to pay your bills by check and U.S. mail.

[fancy_header ]30-40 Days After Your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing Date[/fancy_header]

    • Meet briefly with your attorney and the trustee handling your case.  This is called the Meeting of Creditors (also called a 341 Meeting.)
    • Your attorney will call you a few days before the meeting to go over what to expect, how to answer trustee questions, and to answer any questions you have.

[fancy_header]30-60 Days After Your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing Date[/fancy_header]

    • Complete some additional reaffirmation paperwork for any cars with car loans (that you want to keep.)
    • Attend a reaffirmation hearing, if necessary.
    • Note:  You must make all car loan payments on time and in full to be eligible to reaffirm a car loan in bankruptcy.
    • If you have filed other motions or proceedings in your case, the motions or proceedings might require hearings during this time period.

[fancy_header]60 Days After Your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing Date[/fancy_header]

    •  Complete an online financial management course within 60 days of your bankruptcy filing date.

[fancy_header ]120-150 days After Your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing Date[/fancy_header]

    • You will receive your bankruptcy discharge.

[fancy_header]Approximately 30  Days After Discharge [/fancy_header]

    • Your bankruptcy case will close.
    • Note:  “Entry of Discharge” and “Case Closing” are two separate events.
    • Do not incur new debt, sell or dispose of any assets, repay any discharged debts voluntarily, or pay any unusual expenditures until after your case is closed.

[fancy_header]After Your Case is Closed[/fancy_header]

    •  Save your discharge papers along with a copy of ALL of your bankruptcy petition documents.
    • It is illegal for creditors to try to collect on discharged debts.
    • Notify your attorney if any creditor tries to collect on debts that were discharged in your bankruptcy.
    • Review your credit report to ensure all items are being reported correctly (about 60 days after discharge.)

[note_box]The Law Offices of Karen Ware offers our Chapter 7 bankruptcy clients a free credit report review 60 days post-discharge.[/note_box]