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How long should Chapter 7 bankruptcy take in MA? (Not the discharge time - the whole process.)

Boylston, MA |

I retained a lawyer 2/11/09. Lawyer finally filed 6/15/09 ONLY because our vehicles were being seized. (We had a court appearance for a creditor that the lawyer advised we "skip" & not worry about). It's now 8/21, our bankruptcy is not complete - waiting on the lawyer again (Our court date was 7/20, I went & provided additional info required by the trustee within 4 days.). He's done many things thru-out this process that have hurt us in more ways than one. (it cost us over $700.00 to get our vehicles out of impound - in turn we lost our vehicle insurance because we didn't have $$... etc.) Is this process supposed to take THIS long?? We haven't even reached the point where the bankruptcy trustee has all of the information!!! Maybe I'm just being too hard on our lawyer

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Attorney answers 3


In a routine and properly prepared and planned for Chapter 7 case, from the filing time to the issuance of the discharge and the closure of the case should take approximately 4 months, give or take a few weeks. This assume that the debtor has no assets, and there are no other issues that would cause a delay in the progress of the case.

Simply because you retain a lawyer does not mean that the case will be filed immediately. Read your fee agreement and understand the rights and responsibilities of both you and your lawyer. It is important for you to remember that even if you were filing chapter 7, the filing of the petition would only delay the repossession of your autos if you were not current with your auto loan payments.

If you want an answer that's more reliable and based on the specific aspects of your case, call a lawyer who can look up your case on PACER, ask you some questions and obtain information, and give you an answer all of your questions.

Good luck,

Bill McLeod


There's no one-size-fits-all answer to your questions. You certainly are entitled to satisfactory answers to your questions from your attorney, and I strongly encourage you to get them. A second opinion may or may not be in order, but please first discuss this with your attorney - forcibly, if necessary.


In general, many Chapter 7's in Massachusetts take 4 months. Most get a 341 meeting (meeting with the creditors) date within 30 days of filing the petition and other documents.

Kara O’Donnell, Esq.
Law Office of Kara O’Donnell
Quincy, Massachusetts