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How Long Does a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Take to Complete?

Published December 28, 2014 by Erin B. Shank, P.C.

If you are one of the millions of debtor who has considered filing bankruptcy in recent years, you likely have a number of questions and concerns about the bankruptcy process. Deciding to file bankruptcy is never an easy decision to make. Understanding more about the process itself, however, can make the decision a little easier to make. One common question about the process is “How long does a chapter 7 bankruptcy take to complete?” The good news is that the answer to that question is that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is typically complete within about three and a half months from the time the petition is filed until your Chapter 7 discharge is received.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Code is divided into chapters. Some chapters pertain to all types of bankruptcies that are filed. Other Chapters are specific to one type of bankruptcy. In other words, Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code contains the law that creates Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings. Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code contains the law that creates Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings.

If you are filing either a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, you and your attorney must complete a complicated form that is called the “means test”. Many individuals believe that the “means test” will require them to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, which is a five year wage garnishment. However, we have studied the “means test” and the vast majority our clients are able to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.

Chapter 7 is the quickest bankruptcy available. It does not require a wage garnishment. Chapter 7 debtors typically do not even have an appearance before the bankruptcy judge. They have a quick meeting with another bankruptcy attorney, called a bankruptcy trustee, and then their debts are discharged two months after the meeting. Because of the generous exemption laws available under both Texas and federal law, individuals filing Chapter 7 are also able to retain all of their assets. For an individual or couple who have been struggling financially for months, maybe even years, knowing that the majority of their debts can be eliminated in a such a short period of time certainly makes bankruptcy an attractive option.

If you have specific questions about the chapter 7 bankruptcy process consult with an experienced Texas bankruptcy attorney. Our office offers a free initial consultation and convenient payment plans. Call us today to learn more about how a bankruptcy filing can enable you to begin a financial fresh  start.

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