How long does a Bankruptcy Case take?

Magnified CalendarHow long does a bankruptcy discharge take?  This is one of the first questions any client asks.  To answer your question, from filing to finish a typical chapter 7 case takes just over 105 days in Cleveland.   That is from date of filing to discharge, to closing the case.

The interesting thing is though, the length of time really doesn’t matter.

The automatic stay is granted the moment I file your bankruptcy petition.  The rest of the case is a number of administrative steps leading to a discharge.  The automatic stay remains with you throughout the bankruptcy unless one of your creditors asks the court to specifically remove it with respect to a debt or a secured asset.

chapter 7 bankruptcy steps are:

  1. file the case with the bankruptcy court
  2. attend the 341 meeting (meeting of creditors)f
  3. finish financial management course within 45 days of the meeting of creditors.
  4. bankruptcy discharge 60 days after 341 meeting of creditors.

Sounds fast….it is.  Sounds easy.  It can be….if you do all the work needed to prepare for your chapter 7 bankruptcy before your attorney files it.

The process moves along at a very nice clip if you provide your attorney everything he requests to prepare your case.  Even if you gave everything he wanted at your consultation, it needs to be continually updated to the date your file the chapter 7 case, and beyond depending on the trustee assigned.  The most important thing to keep up to date are:

  • your pay stubs,
  • changes is employment for your or a household member
  • tax returns,
  • any bills you get that were not provided already.  You must identify each creditor (who you owe money to)
    • by name,
    • address,
    • account number,
    • collateral,
    • amount due.
    • Be very careful to leave nothing or no one out.

If you are resist document requests and drag your feet when asked for things, fasten you seat belt, you are in for a long, bumpy, and potentially expensive ride. This gets even worse if the case is filed and the additional document requests come from your trustee. The fact you have your discharge does not stop the trustee from administering your case. A hot tip:  The Trustee never forgets. If he or she wants something, provide it.


Bill Balena

Bill Balena is an attorney with offices in Westlake, Ohio. He represents consumers in Chapter 7, Chapter 13, and Federal Student Loan Resolution. He is a former city prosecutor, and an accomplished OVI, DUI, DUS and criminal trial attorney.

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William Balena
Lorain and Cuyahoga County Bankruptcy Attorney

30400 Detroit Road
Suite 106
Westlake, OH 44145
(888) 633-5426 Toll Free
(866) 936-6113 Toll Free FAX
(440) 365-2000 Local Elyria Number

By appointment in Elyria

I am not your lawyer, and nothing in this site creates that relationship. Bankruptcy law requires that for me to be your bankruptcy lawyer you and I must have a written contract. So, unless we both agree in writing, you are not my client.

I am a debt relief agency. I help people file for bankruptcy relief under the bankruptcy code.