Generally, Chapter 7 bankruptcy takes four to six months, and it will affect your credit for up to ten years. However, you may face delays in some circumstances.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to discharge or eliminate qualifying debts. Its purpose is to give you a new financial stability after accruing debts you would be otherwise unable to pay. A bankruptcy attorney can guide you through bankruptcy and work to keep your case on track.
What Causes Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Claims to Take Longer?
Some Chapter 7 bankruptcy claims go through the court system quickly and without any issues. In these cases, you can still expect to spend between four and six months working with a lawyer to discharge your debts.
However, complicating factors can increase the timeframe for your Chapter 7 bankruptcy claim. Generally, you can expect the legal process to take longer if:
The Court Requires More Information
You must provide extensive financial information throughout the bankruptcy process. If you move forward without offering all the information required, you’ll have to address the issue by giving the court the data. This situation can add a month or more to your bankruptcy case.
The Trustee Needs Additional Details
Trustees play an important role in handling Chapter 7 bankruptcy claims. If they require additional documents, they can delay the creditor’s (or 341) meeting, which puts a hold on the rest of your case. Providing the documents quickly may get your case back on track without delay.
Your Creditors Have Questions
Creditors have a legal right to attend your Chapter 7 bankruptcy hearing and ask questions. Generally, they receive ten minutes to get answers. However, if they need more time, the trustee can schedule additional meetings, which take more time.
You Have a Student Loan to Discharge
Discharging the debt associated with a student loan takes extra time. Your lawyer may need to walk you through an adversary proceeding to handle the discharge, which can increase the time it takes to complete your Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
A Property Issue Arises
Sometimes, property issues come up while handling Chapter 7 bankruptcy claims. In this situation, you may receive a discharge while your case stays open until the dispute is resolved or the trustee sells the disputed property.
The Court Questions Your Discharge
Finally, in some cases, the bankruptcy court system may question the validity of your discharge. In this case, you may need to file a bankruptcy lawsuit. Lawsuits may take a year or more to resolve, extending the time to wrap up your Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
How Long Does a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Stay on Your Credit Report?
After you resolve your Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you have a chance to discharge your debts. However, the process can affect your credit for years after the resolution of the claim. Generally, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy remains on your credit report for ten years.
While most bad credit information comes off your report after seven, the federal government requires bankruptcy information to remain for a full decade. You can learn more about these regulations by working with a bankruptcy lawyer.
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How Can You Expedite the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process?
We understand that no one wants to deal with bankruptcy proceedings for any longer than necessary. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer can try to streamline the process as much as possible and:
- Ensure you provide all proper documentation at the beginning of your claim
- Assist you in answering questions from creditors to save time
- Deal with trustees on your behalf
- Discuss options to handle student loans
Working with a lawyer can provide you with answers to your questions, even before you file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy claim, often allowing the process to go more smoothly. Lawyers react quickly to any potential complications, reducing the odds of a delay.
However, it may still take several months for your Chapter 7 bankruptcy to clear. Regardless of the amount of time it takes to finalize the bankruptcy, it stays on your credit report for ten years.
Contact Us for Help With Your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Members of our team at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, can help you with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy claim. We’ll answer questions like how long Chapter 7 bankruptcy would be in your case. We walk you through each part of the process and represent your best interests.
Find out more by calling or filling out our online contact form.