How long does the bankruptcy process take? There are different types of bankruptcy, so the timeline of bankruptcy cases differ depending on the bankruptcy chapter under which they are filed. The chapters for personal bankruptcy or business bankruptcy in the bankruptcy code are 7, 11, and 13.
Here are the basic timelines to be aware of when considering filing bankruptcy in Arizona.
Repeat Bankruptcy Filings
- Chapter 7 – In Arizona, bankrupt debtors have to wait eight years after receiving a discharge from a previous Chapter 7 bankruptcy case before they can file another Chapter 7.
- Chapter 13 – Here are the waiting times for two distinct scenarios:
- Those who have previously filed bankruptcy under Chapter 7, 11, or 12 have to wait four years before filing a Chapter 13.
- Those who have previously filed a Chapter 13 have to wait two years after the bankruptcy discharge.
Bankruptcy Timeline Requirements
- Arizona residency – Bankruptcy filers are required to have been an Arizona resident for at least 90 days prior to the filing.
- Credit counseling – Those who want to file for bankruptcy have to attend a course conducted by a certified credit counselor 180 days before filing. It may be conducted online, and it shouldn’t take more than an hour.
A bankruptcy case officially starts when the bankruptcy petition is filed with the bankruptcy court. When this happens, an automatic stay is put in place and bankruptcy protection begins, stopping creditors from taking action against the debtor.
- Education course – Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 filers are required to take a debtor education course from a certified agency sometime after filing and before discharge. It’s very informative and helpful. It may be taken online and may cover topics such as financial management, debt management, debt settlement, etc.
- Submission of bankruptcy information – Filers get a letter from their bankruptcy trustee informing them that they have to submit within 15 days after filing specific information about income and expenses, assets and liabilities, and more.
- Meeting of creditors – This meeting of the filer with the trustee takes place about 45 days after filing. It’s also called the 341 and usually does not have creditors in attendance. It is conducted on record and under oath, but it’s typically very short, lasting about 10 minutes on average.
- Government claims against the filer – Government agencies such as the IRS have 180 days after filing to submit proof backing their claims against the filer.
- Formal discharge – The waiting time is different for different bankruptcy chapters.
- Chapter 7 – The letter of discharge is usually received by the filer around six to nine weeks after the meeting of creditors.
- Chapter 13 – Since this involves debt reorganization and carrying out a repayment plan, it takes years instead of months. Discharge usually takes place three to five years after filing, depending on the duration of the payment plan.
Phoenix Bankruptcy Lawyers
If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, you best consult a bankruptcy lawyer before you take any step. Have a bankruptcy attorney review your case and better explain how bankruptcy proceedings work so you can know what to expect. Call us at Phoenix Fresh Start Bankruptcy Attorneys to talk to one of our bankruptcy lawyers