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The timing of discharge in bankruptcy

If you're considering bankruptcy, you probably have some questions about the actual process of a bankruptcy and when the benefits begin. Bankruptcies are not simple matters, so there is no purely single explanation of when the discharge of a bankruptcy occurs. Between Chapter 13 and Chapter 7, the discharge occurs at different points of time after different qualifications are met or deadlines reached.

In the case of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the discharge generally takes place relatively quickly. In most cases, the discharge occurs shortly after the period of time in which a creditor may object to the filing closes out. If you file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 and manage to cruise through this time period without any hiccups, your discharge could take place about 60 days after the initial date established for a meeting with creditors.

Under Chapter 13, however, the discharge does not generally occur until after the repayment plan is completed. Repayment plans generally last between three and five years, so if you choose to use Chapter 13, you enjoy some benefits of bankruptcy immediately, but don't expect your debt discharge for several years, depending on how long your particular repayment plan lasts.

When filing for bankruptcy, it is crucial to make sure that you have proper guidance. Failing to understand this intricate process could lead to very serious financial issues -- even greater than those that contributed to the bankruptcy in the first place. An experienced attorney is able to help guide you through the process and help you navigate around common pitfalls on the way to a fresh financial start.

Source: Findlaw, "The Debt Discharge in Bankruptcy FAQ," accessed Sep. 08, 2017

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