How Long Does the Process of Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Take?

By Derek Prosser

If you are considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you probably have a lot of questions. After all, filing for bankruptcy is a big decision. A common question that many people have regarding Chapter 7 bankruptcy concerns the length of the process. In this article, we discuss how long the process of filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy takes. For additional information on filing for bankruptcy in Texas, please contact one of our experienced bankruptcy attorneys. 

The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process

The personal and business bankruptcy attorneys at Toronjo & Prosser Law can get your case prepared and filed within a few days. From initial filing to chapter 7 discharge, most Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases take from three to four months. However, the process can take longer depending on the circumstances. The Chapter 7 bankruptcy process in Texas consists of the following steps: 

File your paperwork: To initiate the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process, you first must file bankruptcy paperwork with the court. The documents you provide include information about your income, expenses, assets, debts, financial transactions, and exempt property.  Our attorneys can usually get your case ready within a couple of days, provided you have all the items needed from the bankruptcy checklist.

Get the benefits of the Automatic StayAfter submitting your paperwork, the court will provide notice to your creditors that you have filed for bankruptcy.  Upon filing, you are protected by the automatic stay.  The automatic stay requires creditors to stop harassing you, calling you, and prevents them from further collection activities, including lawsuits, repossessions, foreclosures, evictions, etc. 

Attend the 341 meeting of creditors hearing: The court will then set a date for the one court appearance you’ll be required to attend, which is called the 341 meeting of creditors. This typically occurs between 25 and 40 days after you file. At the hearing, the trustee will ask you a series of routine questions while you are under oath.  These hearings typically last between five and ten minutes.  Creditors are allowed to be present and ask you questions at this hearing, but that rarely happens. 

Provide additional information: If the trustee in your case requires additional information, he or she may continue the hearing to another date. The creditors in your case will have 60 days after the conclusion of the initial meeting date to object to either the discharge of a particular debt or your entire bankruptcy case.  It is very rare that this happens and our attorneys typically address any potential risk for such actions before your case is even filed.

File the financial management course certificate: At any time after the case is filed and before your discharge, you are required to complete your personal financial management course, which is the second of the two courses you must complete to receive a discharge. You are required to complete this course within 60 days of the first date set for your 341 meeting of creditors hearing.

Receive your discharge: If everything goes according to schedule, you should receive your bankruptcy discharge approximately 61-70 days after your 341 meeting of creditors hearing.  The discharge is the magical word in bankruptcy and has the legal effect of eliminating most of all of your debts.  

Contact a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney 

If you are interested in filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Texas, you need an experienced Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney on your side. At Toronjo & Prosser Law, our experienced attorneys are dedicated to providing you with the personal attention you deserve. Unlike many larger firms, when you come to us for assistance, you will work with an experienced attorney—not a paralegal or office assistant—from day one.

After we review your case, we will advise you on the best course of action based on your unique situation. We have filed thousands of bankruptcy cases and handle each case in an effective and efficient manner. Please contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our talented lawyers.

About the Author
Derek Prosser understands that clients need help and need answers and that in order to properly address those concerns, clients need to deal with an attorney first and always, not just an assistant or paralegal.  By effectively counseling from the outset of a case, Toronjo & Prosser Law can anticipate and address potential problems before they arise, as opposed to when they’ve already surfaced (the “Counsel Later” approach), and, in the end, strive for a seamless representation.