How Long Does It Take to File Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?


Quick Answer

It takes approximately two to four months to complete the filing of Chapter 13 bankruptcy and begin a structured payment plan in accordance with the findings of the bankruptcy court, according to U.S. Courts. The amount of time required for this remains within certain limits dictated by the court, but variations occur due to the fact that this type of bankruptcy is a restructuring of debt and consists of a dialogue between the court, creditors and the debtors in question.

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Full Answer

The initial bankruptcy petition initiates an immediate stay of most collection actions against the debtor, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362, notes U.S. Courts. At that time, the debtor has 14 days in which to submit a proposed plan of repayment.

Between 21 and 50 days after filing the petition, or up to 60 days if local staffing is deemed insufficient, the chapter 13 trustee holds a meeting between the debtors and creditors, based on Fed. R. Bankr. P. 2003a. The debtors must answer questions from the creditors regarding financial circumstances and ability to make payments, and a final payment plan is agreed upon, explains U.S. Courts. A "commitment period" of between three and five years is set, in which all projected disposable income is turned over to the creditors, per 11 U.S.C. § 1325d.

At the end of this period, if all obligations are met, the court discharges all further debts, states U.S. Courts.

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