The time it takes for bankruptcy to be completed depends on your specific situation, but there are some common timelines that do apply. However, the time it takes for a bankruptcy case to be discharged or reorganized isn’t even the most important time factor. There are actually quite a few elements of a bankruptcy that have to do with time. That’s one reason it is so important to have an experienced lawyer on your side. Otherwise, certain debts will not be discharged, or your bankruptcy may fail completely.
Average Time to Discharge
When it comes to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it usually takes between three and seven months before the bankruptcy is discharged. Chapter 13 is a little different because the debt is reorganized rather than discharged. That’s why Chapter 13 usually takes between three and five years to completely wrap up. However, once it is over, you should be caught up on the debt you were behind on and have the opportunity to move forward and start rebuilding your credit. Only an experienced bankruptcy lawyer can give you an accurate estimate of the time that your bankruptcy might take, and only after looking over and evaluating your information.
Taxes and Time in Bankruptcy
If you plan to file bankruptcy on your taxes, the exact date you file is just as important as the amount of time it takes to discharge the bankruptcy. That’s because taxes go by the 3-2-240 rules, which determine what taxes can be filed in your bankruptcy based on the times they were originally filed, assessed, or due to be paid. You don’t want to file a day too early and then not have some of your taxes discharged. However, you also don’t want to file so late that your next year’s taxes are due immediately after the bankruptcy is discharged because that doesn’t give you any time to recover from the previous few months. Click here to read more about bankruptcy.
Considering New Debt During Bankruptcy
Some people try to create new debts while filing bankruptcy so that they then have more cash or material goods when the bankruptcy is discharged. Not only does this put you at risk for not having those items allowed in the discharge, but it may put your entire case at risk if the court thinks you are trying to defraud them in some way. Below are some examples.
- If you open a new line of credit within ninety days before filing bankruptcy, this new credit line will not be discharged.
- If you receive a cash advance over the allowed limit in the seventy days before you file, this debt will not be discharged.
- When it comes to charitable contributions, new donations that were obviously made just to help you meet the standards of the means test may not end up being considered as part of your expenses. In other words, don’t donate $500 when you never have before just so you can go over the limits for the means test.
Why You Need a Bankruptcy Attorney
If you are considering bankruptcy, our experienced lawyers can help you decide when it is the right time to file. Be honest about your income, expenses, and financial plans for the near future. When we have all the necessary information, we can help you make a decision about when to file and can give you a better idea of the length of time it will take before your bankruptcy is discharged. We can also let you know the best way to move forward in order to help you gain control of your finances.