There are many questions people have when it comes to filing for bankruptcy. People often want to know how bankruptcy will affect their credit, if they will be able to keep their property and how long the bankruptcy process will last. It’s true repaying your debts can take several years and many people may not feel they have the financial means to repay their debts, especially over a long period of time. Depending on the type of bankruptcy you file, you may be able to complete the process relatively easy.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
When filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will first need to determine your eligibility through a means test. This test evaluates your debts and assets to determine if your financial hardships qualify for debt elimination in Chapter 7. A qualified bankruptcy attorney can conduct this test and file your petition in one to three business days. A Meeting of Creditors is held around 30 days after the petition is filed, which allows the appointed bankruptcy trustee to review any questions there may be pertaining to your account. The bankruptcy court will generally make a decision regarding your case within two to three months after the Meeting of Creditors. Bankruptcy laws require anyone filing for bankruptcy to complete a credit counseling course before they can receive a discharge of their debts. If you fail to complete the credit counseling course before the court is scheduled to rule, you could have your case delayed or dismissed. The bankruptcy case is closed once you receive a discharge or dismissal, and many people find they are debt free within three to six months of filing for bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a debt reorganization process, in which you will develop a plan to repay your debts to creditors. The process begins when you file the bankruptcy petition and develop a Chapter 13 repayment plan. The petition and repayment plan are usually submitted within one to three business days. You must attend the Meeting of Creditors within 30 days, where you will be able to provide your input regarding the repayment plan. The bankruptcy trustee will provide a recommendation to the court about whether your repayment plan should be approved depending on your financial ability to make the payments. If your plan is approved by the court, you must begin making your payments to creditors as outlined by the repayment plan. The Chapter 13 repayment plan will allow a three to five year time period completing the payment schedule. Once you complete the repayment plan, the bankruptcy court will discharge your case. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can take more time than a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, but there are benefits to repaying your debts versus having them erased.