How long could my Chapter 7 bankruptcy take?

Struggling with debt can be an overwhelming weight to carry. Whether it is credit card debt, medical debt, mortgage debt or a combination of many, New Mexico families want to find debt relief as soon as possible and return to what is important in life without worry.

To do this, many people consider filing bankruptcy, but they often wonder: how long will it take for their debt to be discharged if they file bankruptcy?

How long does it take to obtain a bankruptcy discharge?

The duration of your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case often depends on the details of your case. However, the average Chapter 7 case takes roughly four to six months.

Qualifying by the means test and filling out the paperwork does not take long – though you must ensure you take great care in completing the paperwork properly and including all of your financial information.

What usually takes time are the steps you must take after you file as you begin the process of achieving debt relief.

Could my bankruptcy last longer than six months?

There are some situations that could prolong a bankruptcy case. For example, a Chapter 7 filing could potentially take longer if:

  • Individuals do not complete the paperwork correctly or provide all information;
  • There are delays in obtaining your debt education requirements;
  • There is a delay in having the 341 meeting – or the meeting of creditors;
  • Creditors have questions or challenge the bankruptcy and discharge; or
  • Trustees must sell non-exempt property in the bankruptcy estate to pay debts.

With these delays, it could take a year or more to receive a discharge in your Chapter 7 case. However, working with an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you sidestep or effectively navigate such delays, so you can obtain the debt relief you need efficiently.