When you make the decision to file bankruptcy, it is important that you understand how the process generally works. One of the first questions we hear is, how long will the bankruptcy case take to be resolved? It is understandable to want to know how soon you might receive a discharge of your debts and move forward with your life, or how long your business will be under the supervision of the bankruptcy court.
Each bankruptcy case has its own specific timeline, as delays or complications might occur, as well as court scheduling issues. For example, during the current COVID-19 crisis, most Meetings of Creditors have been delayed, which can lengthen your case’s timeline. The following is an overview of how long an average bankruptcy case might take.
Chapter 7 Cases
This is – by far – the fastest type of bankruptcy case. Generally speaking, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case should take between four months and six months from the date you file the petition to when the court orders the discharge of your debts. There are some reasons why your Chapter 7 case might take longer, including the following:
- The bankruptcy trustee requests additional information, with longer delays if you fail to provide the necessary information
- The bankruptcy trustee has an issue liquidating your property
- There is a question whether or not you should obtain a discharge
- You provided inaccurate or incomplete information to the court
- The trustee suspects bankruptcy fraud
Part of an Arizona bankruptcy lawyer’s role is to prevent such complications whenever they can, to ensure that your Chapter 7 case goes as smoothly as possible and that you promptly receive your discharge.
Chapter 13 Cases
Chapter 13 cases are considerably longer than Chapter 7. This is because you have to complete a repayment plan before you can receive a discharge, and plans can last for three to five years. First, you file your bankruptcy petition. Then, you submit a proposal for your repayment and debt restructuring plan to the court. Generally, it can take six months or longer from the filing of your petition to having your repayment plan approved. This can be longer if there are several rounds of negotiations with the trustee regarding your plan.
Once your plan is approved, you will need to complete the plan, which lasts for three to five years. The length of your plan depends on whether you make less or more than the median income for Arizona. Some people need to change the length of their plan before they complete it, which can lead to a case taking longer. Generally, a Chapter 13 case can take about 39 months to 63 months. If you successfully meet your obligations, you can then have your remaining qualified debts discharged.
Chapter 11 Cases
While a handful of individuals do file under Chapter 11, this type of bankruptcy is most commonly used by businesses who are trying to address debt issues while remaining in operation. This is a highly complex process, and the length of a case depends on the specific circumstances involved. These cases can generally last from six months to several years, and your attorney can give you a better idea of what to expect in your specific case.
How a Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help
The right bankruptcy lawyer will know how to navigate the bankruptcy process efficiently, which prevents delays whenever possible. If complications do arise, your attorney should know how to address them to get your bankruptcy back on track.
Because bankruptcy cases do take time, you should not hesitate to discuss a possible case with an Arizona bankruptcy attorney. The sooner you start the process, the sooner you can take back control of your finances. At Yusufov Law Firm, we strive for the swiftest resolution to each case to best protect our clients’ interests.
Learn About Your Option from an Experienced Arizona Bankruptcy Attorney
At Yusufov Law Firm, we take the time to carefully address all of our clients’ questions so that they fully understand what to expect from their bankruptcy case. We go over each step of the bankruptcy process and take all necessary steps to prevent complications and delays when possible. Whether you are a consumer filing under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, or a business filing under Chapter 11, attorney German Yusufov will be on your side every step of the way. Some cases take months while others take years, though our goal is always for clients to get the most benefits possible from their case. For a free consultation with an Arizona bankruptcy lawyer, please contact us online, or call 480-788-0098 in Phoenix/Mesa or 520-745-4429 in the Tucson area. We are ready to help you find financial freedom.