The timeline of a typical Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is generally four to five months. Bankruptcy debtors must be prepared to go through the process of meeting with an experienced bankruptcy attorney, determining eligibility, taking credit counseling, filing the case itself, providing information to the court and trustee, and attending their 341 meeting all before receiving a discharge. An experienced bankruptcy attorney like Theron Morrison can help any bankruptcy debtor prepare for bankruptcy.
- The first step in the process or timeline is to determine whether filing for bankruptcy is your best option. Filing for bankruptcy may not be the best solution, thus it is important to discuss what your personal situation and circumstances require with a Utah bankruptcy attorney.
- The next step in the process if you have decided to file a bankruptcy case is to gather all the necessary bankruptcy forms, as well as all the necessary information and documentation to complete these forms. You will have to complete the means test to determine whether you are eligible for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. The Morrison Law Group has a startup package for all clients, which provides all the information necessary to initiate a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. Our helpful attorneys and staff will provide all the necessary assistance as you collect and gather the necessary documents to file your bankruptcy case, including credit reports, evidence of monthly income and/or pay stubs, tax returns, bank and other financial account statements, and any other documentation that you have received from creditors and their collection agents evidencing your legal debt obligations. Once this information has been gathered in its entirety, it must be immediately provided to your bankruptcy attorney so that the necessary bankruptcy forms may be completed for filing.
- Before filing your bankruptcy case, which occurs electronically online rather than physically at the courthouse, you will need to complete an online credit counseling course. The Morrison Law Group will provide you with the necessary information to seamlessly complete this step.
- Once a bankruptcy petition and its accompanying schedules and statements are prepared in their entirety, the case is filed electronically online. The petition lists an estimate of your current assets and liabilities, as well as the chapter, usually 7 or 13, under which you are filing. The required bankruptcy schedules and statements provide a summary of your assets, liabilities, income, expenses, and other relevant information explaining your overall financial situation. This information is also filed electronically with the federal court system.
- After filing your bankruptcy case, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court will send a notice of the filing to your creditors informing them that you are now protected by the automatic stay and federal bankruptcy law. This protection prevents creditors from garnishing your wages or bank account, as well as suing or contacting you.
- Approximately four to five weeks after the bankruptcy case is filed, a “341 Meeting,” which is a meeting of your creditors (named after the code section of the Bankruptcy Code that requires it), will occur in front of the Chapter 7 trustee assigned to your case. While the meeting lasts just 10-15 minutes, a bankruptcy debtor’s attendance is required. Failure to attend may result in the dismissal of your bankruptcy case. You are permitted to be represented by your attorney at the meeting. The trustee will ask you questions that you will be required to answer under oath. Finally, the trustee will ask if any creditors are present who “wish to be heard” by asking a question or making a statement. At this meeting, the Chapter 7 trustee may request additional documentation that typically must be provided without delay.
- Approximately sixty days after the 341 Meeting, the deadline for your creditors and the trustee to object to any property exemptions that you have claimed or whether any or all of your debts should be discharged will expire. This deadline will appear on the notice of the bankruptcy filing that the court sends to creditors.
- Finally, you will have to take a financial management course, which may be taken online. Although this may be taken at your convenience, the court will not issue an order discharging your debts until this course is completed. The Morrison Law Group may help debtors with this requirement.
- Within 3 to 5 months from the initial date that you filed your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the court will enter a discharge order, officially and legally eliminating any dischargeable debts that you listed in your bankruptcy case documents.
Talk to Theron Morrison and the Morrison Law Group about the timeline of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases to better understand your bankruptcy options. Call 801.456.9933 today to schedule a FREE consultation. We have locations in Ogden, Logan, Sandy, and St. George to serve the residents of the counties of Weber, Cache, Salt Lake, Utah, Morgan, Davis, Washington, and surrounding areas.