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Steps in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case


If you are considering the possibility of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy as an individual or a married couple in Irvine or elsewhere in Orange County, you likely want to know more about what to expect. How long, for example, should you anticipate that your Chapter 7 case will take? How much time, for instance, will you have between the different steps that occur before you receive a discharge? And do all Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases have the same required steps, or are there some common steps (or infrequent steps) that you may be able to avoid in your own bankruptcy case?

Bankruptcy law is complicated, so it is essential to discuss the particular facts of your case with a bankruptcy attorney in Orange County. In the meantime, we can provide you with more information about the general steps in a personal bankruptcy Chapter 7 case, and the common length of time you can anticipate.

  1. Complete a Credit Counseling Course 

First, complete a credit counseling course, which must be completed before you file for bankruptcy.

  1. File Your Bankruptcy Petition and Required Documents 

Next, file your bankruptcy petition and required documents. Some Schedules and other documents can be filed up to 14 days after your initial petition.

  1. Provide Tax Returns to the Bankruptcy Trustee 

Provide the bankruptcy trustee with your tax returns, which you must do at least seven days before the 341 meeting of creditors.

  1. File Your Statement of Intention 

You will need to file your Statement of Intention, which concerns your plans for any secured property you have and unexpired leases, between 20 and 30 days after you have filed for bankruptcy.

  1. Attend 341 Meeting of Creditors 

Next, your 341 meeting of creditors will occur, where creditors can attend and make objections and ask questions.

  1. Complete Your Debtor Education Course 

To receive a discharge in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must complete the debtor education course. This course must be completed after the first date set for the 341 meeting of creditors but within 60 days of that date.

  1. Complete Any Reaffirmation Agreements 

You will need to complete any reaffirmation agreements (if relevant to you) prior to discharge.

  1. Receive a Bankruptcy Discharge 

Finally, your eligible debts can be discharged. Discharges generally occur within four to six months from the date of your initial bankruptcy filing, but timelines can vary based on the facts and specific complications of a given case.

Contact a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer 

Bankruptcy cases are complicated, and it is important to have a lawyer on your side throughout the process. Even before you file for bankruptcy, or determine whether you want to file, understanding the process can be difficult. Our bankruptcy attorney at The Law Office of Charles A. May can answer any questions you have, and we can provide you with more information about the steps you should expect in your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get started on your bankruptcy filing.


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