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How Long Does Bankruptcy Take?

This article helps answer the question how long does bankruptcy take. The answer depends upon a few factors. Primarily, they are:

  • How quickly you can deliver documentation to your bankruptcy attorney
  • Whether you are choosing a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13
  • Reasons which may exist to delay your filing

Delivering Documentation For Bankruptcy

Your ability to deliver documents can change the answer to the question “How long does bankruptcy take?” Most bankruptcy attorneys will accept documentation in electronic or paper format. Clients are usually pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to meet the documentation requirements, which shortens how long it takes to prepare to file for bankruptcy. While there may be more documentation required, generally you will need to provide:

  • Drivers License
  • Social Security Card
  • Vehicle Registration
  • Two years of tax returns
  • Six months of bank statements
  • Six months of pay stubs or proof of income

Once your bankruptcy attorney has this information, they can review it to be sure the bankruptcy petition they are drafting matches the activity on your accounts and tax returns.

Chapter 7 or Chapter 13

Chapter 7 bankruptcy results in a discharge roughly 120 days after the filing of the bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a years-long bankruptcy where you make a monthly payment for 36 or 60 months. You receive a discharge after making your last payment. Your bankruptcy attorney will be able to help you decide between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Generally speaking, you must pass the Means Test to qualify for Chapter 7. Most clients who choose Chapter 13 do so because of one of the following:

  • Too much income
  • Too many assets
  • A desire to ‘catch up’ on a mortgage or car loan

After a free phone consultation, our office can typically predict for you whether you will need to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. From there, you can decide which route is best for you. If neither of the two options is appealing, we can always discuss the option of pursuing debt settlement instead of bankruptcy.

Reasons To Wait To File Bankruptcy

While the bankruptcy rules are very powerful in favor of the debtor, sometimes it makes sense to wait to file your bankruptcy. Usually, these waiting times are well worth it, and relatively easy to spot if you’ve been honest with your bankruptcy attorney. Because the bankruptcy rules look at a specific window of time regarding your financial activity, waiting an extra month or two to file can sometimes make the difference between a smooth and easy bankruptcy, or a rocky road. Here are a few reasons your bankruptcy attorney may recommend you wait to file:

  • Too much income in the past 6 months
  • A transfer to a friend or family member in the past year
  • A large payment to a creditor in the past 90 days
  • A new loan taken out in the past 90 days
  • Credit card use in the last 90 days beyond day to day purchases (Luxury items, etc.)

Hearing that you need to wait to file your bankruptcy may be frustrating. It certainly changes the answer to the question “How long does bankruptcy take?” if your attorney is recommending waiting, for the sole purpose of letting a financial item ‘drop off’ of your timeline. However, taking the advice of your bankruptcy attorney prior to filing will pay off for you in the end.

Speak With A Bankruptcy Attorney Today

We would love to help you get an answer to the question “How long does bankruptcy take?” A quick phone call with a bankruptcy attorney can put your mind at ease and help you understand the options. The path to financial recovery is usually very smooth. You’ll find most of your fears about bankruptcy are unfounded. We’d love to help you make a decision. You can reach us at 704-749-7747 or click for a FREE CONSULTATION and we’ll reach out quickly to make contact. We know you have choices. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

Further Reading

How Does Bankruptcy Affect My Spouse?

Will The Bank Freeze My Bank Accounts In Bankruptcy?