Typical debtor(s)’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy case begins once a Petition is filed with the Bankruptcy Court. If the debtors are married, they may file a joint Petition. Debtor’s petition includes schedules listing assets, creditors, income, expenses, executory contracts, leases, and co-debtors. The Schedules are customarily filed along with the Petition. The Declaration Regarding Payment Advices and Credit Counseling Certificate are also usually filed along with the Petition. The filing fee is paid at the time of filing.
After filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, the following events take place.
Automatic Stay Order will be issued which prohibits creditors from sending you letters, calling you, or taking any additional collection and/or legal action against debtor(s). Garnishments on bank accounts and paychecks must stop.
Bankruptcy Trustee will be assigned to your bankruptcy case and Meeting of Creditors will be scheduled.
The date to complete Financial Management Course is scheduled.
Approximately 15 days after bankruptcy case filing:
The Bankruptcy Clerk will mail debtor(s) and creditors the Notice of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case, Meeting of Creditors, & Deadlines, which provides the date set for your meeting of creditors and other important deadlines.
Within 30 days of bankruptcy case filing:
Statement of Intention must be filed, informing the court if debtor(s) plan to keep any collateral property or if you intend to submit it to your creditors. The Statement of Intention is usually filed along with the Petition, but debtor(s) can change his/her position on these issues.
14 days before 341 Meeting:
Debtor(s) most recent tax returns, paystubs, real estate documents, vehicle related documents, and other financial information are due to the Trustee 14 days before the date first set for the 341 meeting.
Approximately 4 weeks after bankruptcy case filing:
Meeting of Creditors, often referred to at a 341 meeting, will be held.
30 days after your 341 Meeting:
Deadline for the Bankruptcy Trustee or your creditors to object to your exemption claims.
Debtor(s) must perform his/her intentions as stated in the Statement of Intentions. Debtor(s) will need to surrender the property, reaffirm the debt, or redeem property for the allowed secured claim.
45 days after 341 Meeting:
Debtor(s) must have completed his/her Financial Management Education Course and filed a certificate of completion within 45 days of the first date set for the 341 meeting.
60 days after 341 Meeting:
Creditors must object to discharge of debts that were obtained by false pretenses, a false representation, or actual fraud; debt from fraud or defalcation while acting in a fiduciary capacity, embezzlement or larceny; and debt for willful and malicious injury. This deadline applies to objections to discharge of: consumer debts owed to a single creditor of more than $500 for luxury goods or services obtained within 90 days before a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Creditors must also object within 60 days of the original 341 date for debts involving misconduct including transfer, destruction or concealment of property; concealment, destruction, falsification or failure to keep financial records; making false statements; withholding information; failing to explain losses; failure to respond to material questions; having received a discharge in a prior bankruptcy case filed within the last 6 years.
Trustee must determine if debtor(s) bankruptcy case should be dismissed due to abuse or debts discharged.
Reaffirmation agreements, if relevant, must be filed with the court.
More than 60 days after 341 Meeting:
Debtor(s)’s discharge will be filed by the Bankruptcy Clerk. However, at this point in time, the discharge is not absolute or final. The trustee can ask that the discharge be set aside if the debtor does not turn over non-exempt property, if the debtor fails to perform other duties, or if there were other matters pending which would result in the denial of the discharge.
90 days after 341 meeting:
All creditors (except for government entities) must file their proofs of claim if they wish to share in the payments from debtor(s)’s bankruptcy case if any assets are available for liquidation.
180 days after bankruptcy case was filed:
Government agencies or units must file a proof of claim within 180 days of the bankruptcy case filing.
Debtor(s) no longer risk losing property acquired or become entitled to after the bankruptcy case is filed as a result of inheritance, bequest, devise, property settlements involving divorce, or beneficiary on life insurance. Any inheritance that debtor(s) become entitled to after the bankruptcy case is filed is at risk of being liquidated by the Trustee if debtor(s) become entitled to it within 180 days of filing.
Final Decree will be entered by the Court officially closing the bankruptcy case. The Final Decree is often received near the time of the Discharge if your bankruptcy case is a no-asset bankruptcy case. If the Trustee is liquidating non-exempt assets, the bankruptcy case will remain open to allow the Trustee to distribute the funds to creditors and file a final report.
The above represents a typical timeline for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case.
If you contemplating filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, or are dealing with debt problems in Western New York, including Rochester, Canandaigua, Brighton, Pittsford, Penfield, Perinton, Fairport, Webster, Victor, Farmington, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Parma, Brockport, Spencerport, LeRoy, Chili, Churchville, Monroe County, Ontario County, Wayne County, Orleans County, Livingston County, and being harassed by bill collectors, and would like to know more about how bankruptcy may be able to help you, contact me today by phone or email to schedule a FREE initial consultation with a Rochester, NY, bankruptcy lawyer.