People who are considering or have filed for bankruptcy will naturally have many questions about the process. How do I file? What can I expect in the weeks that follow my filing? What new responsibilities will I have in the wake of a filing? What do the different types of bankruptcy mean for me? How can I best address the issues I will face throughout the bankruptcy process?
There are so many questions related to bankruptcy, so for today, let's tackle just one: the timeline of bankruptcy.
Before you file for bankruptcy, you should consult with an attorney to make sure that you have all the necessary documentation for the process, and to have your case fully evaluated. Once you have taken this step, there will be three distinct moments that you'll need to be ready for:
- The filing itself. This is relatively easy nowadays, with online filings making the logistic of the bankruptcy process simpler.
- Meeting your court-appointed trustee. Anywhere from 20 days to 40 days after you file for bankruptcy, you will meet with a court-appointed trustee. Having an attorney at this meeting can be very beneficial, and while your creditors may attend the meeting, it is unlikely that they will.
- Last but not least, either a debt discharge (Chapter 7) or plan confirmation (Chapter 13). This will happen within 30 to 90 days of your meeting with the trustee.
All told, the bankruptcy will take at least a couple of months. During this process, the counsel of an experienced attorney can greatly help any filer.