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The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Timeline

Typically, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy timeline lasts anywhere from four to six months, but will ultimately depend upon the unique details of your case and the presence or absence of assets. If you are considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there are several steps involved both prior to filing and once filing is complete. At our Portland, ORfirm, we understand that filing for bankruptcy can be a daunting and overwhelming task. Attorney Ted Troutman is well-versed in the intricacies of bankruptcy law and can ensure you complete all necessary duties in the required time. During your personal consultation, Mr. Troutman can guide you through each step of the process, as well as provide you with a more accurate timeline based upon your case.

The average Chapter 7 case can take between four to six months starting from the time of filing and concluding at the time the debt is discharged.

illustration of chapter 7 bankruptcy timeline

Average Timeline

The average Chapter 7 case can take between four to six months, starting from the time of filing and concluding at the time the debt is discharged. The steps involved include but are not limited to:

  • Pre-Filing: Before filing, you and Mr. Troutman must compile and verify your financial information. All information provided must be accurate so as to avoid financial sanctions.
  • Filing: Mr. Troutman can file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy petition with a bankruptcy court. At this time, an automatic stay becomes effective and creditors can no longer attempt to collect for previous balances. 
  • 521 Documents to Trustee: The 521 documents, including pay-stubs and tax returns, must be sent to the bankruptcy trustee within 21 days of filing. 
  • 341 Meeting of Creditors: During this hearing, the trustee of your case can ask you questions to ensure all information you reported was accurate and determine if you have any assets to liquidate. This meeting takes place between 21 and 40 days after filing.
  • Notice of No Distribution or to File a Proof of Claim: Around 45 days after filing and 10 days after the 341 meeting, the Chapter 7 trustee will file a proof of claim if there are assets that can be liquidated to pay the creditors. If there are no assets, the trustee will file a notice of no distribution.
  • File Debtor Education Certificate: Approximately 75 days after filing, the debtor education certificate must be filed.
  • Discharge: This legal decree happens around 95 days after filing and protects debtors from creditors attempting to collect on a debt. Debtors who are discharged are no longer obligated to pay past debts. Creditors are able to object to this discharge for 60 days following the 341 meeting.

To ensure you understand your legal options and obligations, Mr. Troutman can guide you through each step of the process.

The Final Decree

The final decree is the last step before a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is complete. While each case is unique, many cases follow a scheduled timeline, depending upon whether there are assets present. 

  • Final Decree (in a no-asset case): Approximately 100 days after filing, the final decree closes the bankruptcy case. The trustee is relieved from his or her duties and the scheduled assets are given to the debtor.
  • Final Decree (in an asset case): In this case, a Chapter 7 trustee administers assets anywhere from 12 months to years after filing. The trustee has to liquidate all assets, and file a final report. If there are no objections, the trustee can distribute the report to claimants. The trustee can then prepare a report detailing final distribution, and the final decree will be entered around 25 days later. 

Mr. Troutman can assess the details of your case and provide you with an estimate as to how long your Final Decree may take. He can also take the time to answer any additional questions or concerns you may have about Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

Contact Us to Learn More

Bankruptcy can put an end to creditors contacting you, stop foreclosures, end wage garnishments, as well as halt property repossession, so you can begin a fresh financial future. Attorney Ted Troutman is compassionate and honest and has been helping clients with financial debt for over 30 years. If you are facing financial difficulties and have questions about your legal rights, contact us online or call (503) 292-6788 to schedule your personal consultation. 

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