How Long Does Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Take?

chapter 7 bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases generally do not take as long to complete as Chapter 13 cases. In a Chapter 13 case, the debtor must complete a bankruptcy plan, which can take up to five years. Chapter 7 bankruptcies do not have repayment plans. A Georgia bankruptcy attorney can help you determine which chapter of bankruptcy gives you the best benefits.

Steps in a Typical Georgia Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case

Each Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is unique. However, the steps in a typical Chapter 7 case include:

  • Meeting with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney to discuss bankruptcy options
  • Deciding whether to file Chapter 7
  • Reviewing your case to determine if you meet the income qualifications for a Chapter 7 case
  • Completing the first bankruptcy course – Credit Counseling
  • Gathering documentation and information for your lawyer
  • Filling out all bankruptcy forms and documents with your attorney
  • Reviewing bankruptcy forms for accuracy and sign forms
  • Filing the bankruptcy forms with the Bankruptcy Court and assigning a Trustee to your case
  • Attending a brief telephonic Meeting of Creditors
  • Competing second bankruptcy course – Debt Management Course
  • The court issues the bankruptcy discharge and closes the case

The bankruptcy discharge is the order the relieves your legal liability for repaying debts eligible for a discharge. Depending on the court’s schedule, you can complete a no-asset Chapter 7 bankruptcy in about three to four months. 

However, if the trustee declares your Chapter 7 case to be an asset case, it could take more than a year for your Chapter 7 case to close. The good news is that most Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases filed in Georgia are no-asset cases.

What Does It Mean to Have an Asset Case in Chapter 7?

A Chapter 7 trustee can, in limited circumstances, seize an asset to sell. The proceeds are used to pay your unsecured creditors, such as medical bills, credit cards, and personal loans. There is usually nothing for you to do in an asset case after attending the 341 hearing and completing your bankruptcy courses. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer will advise you before you file if any of your property is at risk.

The Chapter 7 trustee sells the asset, reviews claims, pays creditors, and files a final report. You receive copies of the filed documents, but there is generally nothing to do but wait until the Chapter 7 trustee completes the process.

Will I Lose Property if I File Chapter 7 in Georgia?

Most people who file under Chapter 7 do not lose any property. Bankruptcy exemptions protect specific amounts of equity in certain property. The trustee cannot use the protected equity to repay your debts. For many people, the bankruptcy exemptions cover all or most of the equity in the property, making it a no-asset Chapter 7 case.

Before filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, it is in your best interest to talk with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. An attorney reviews your financial situation and advises whether any of your assets are at risk under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. 

Contact Our Georgia Bankruptcy Attorney for a Free Consultation 

Our Georgia bankruptcy attorney analyzes your finances during a free consultation. We will discuss the pros and cons of various debt-relief options so you can decide if filing Chapter 7 is right for you. You could get rid of all or most of your debt in just a few months by filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. Contact us today.

Posted in: Bankruptcy