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Once I file my bankruptcy, how long does it take to go to court?

Los Angeles, CA |

Long story short, I have been unemployed for 2 years. Now I am starting to get temporary work, so I may be able to dig myself out of 40K+ of 1 ½ years of past due credit card debt.

Yet since I have been getting credit collectors calling and writing to me for 1 ½ years, trying to get payment, I would like to see if I can get financially stable to try to work with these creditors, however I am going to need at least 3 to 4 months to see if I can get financially stable to work out payment plans with these creditors. However, it seems the only way I can temporarily get the collectors off my back is to file BK, but I rather not file BK (for reasons I will not go into).

So I am hoping that even if I have to pay about $300 to file BK on my own, that maybe I “might” have some time to gain financial stability in a few months, to maybe withdraw my BK filing before it goes to court and then workout a payment plan with the collectors. About how much time does it take for a BK case to be heard once I file (I live in Los Angeles)? Can I withdraw my BK before my court date, if so, what are (if any) the repercussions by the court for withdrawing a BK filing?

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Attorney answers 4


Not wanting to file bankruptcy is normal; it is not something that clients do with pleasure. A bankruptcy is filed when a client, with advice and counseling from an experienced bankruptcy attorney, determines that this would be the best possible course of action.

A bankruptcy completes in just about 4 months, from filing date to the entry of the Order of Discharge. In our jurisdiction, the Northern District of IL, there is no court appearance scheduled, just a meeting with the Trustee appointed to our case to determine if there are assets that you would not be allowed to retain. Our meetings take place with 4 to 7 weeks after the filing date. It may be slightly different where you live.

$40,000.00 + is a lot of money to repay; it would require a hefty salary.

Contact a local experienced bankrutpcy attorney. This would provide you with a framework to help you decide what to do.

Please be advised that the advice to you herein does NOT establish an attorney client relationship and that our firm does NOT represent you in any 7 Bankruptcy matter.


Once you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it isn't easy to change your mind & back out of it. To get the bankruptcy dismissed requires a court order, and many judges require you to show how dismissing your case will benefit your creditors, not you. Ouch!

Should you still file bankruptcy? And if so, when should you file. I have written a couple of legal guides on this topic which may interest you. In the meantime, consult a bankruptcy attorney before you really step into a bigger mess than you already find yourself.

Hope this perspective helps!


If you are filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California (in Los Angeles), assuming all of your paperwork is in order, the earliest date that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge will be entered on the case docket is shortly after the sixtieth (60th) day following the first date set for the 341(a) Meeting of Creditors.

Under Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure Rule 4004, a trustee or creditors have sixty (60) days after the first date set for the 341(a) Meeting of Creditors to file a complaint objecting to discharge. This sixty (60) day period ensures that a trustee and creditors have sufficient time to conduct investigations, and the court may extend the deadline if an appropriate motion to extend the filing deadline is filed before the sixty (60) day period expires.

The later date that a discharge will be entered is after other actions are taken, such as:

* A trustee or creditor can delay the entry of a discharge order by filing a complaint (adversary proceeding) objecting to the discharge within the sixty (60) day period mentioned above or by getting the court to extend the sixty (60) day deadline;

* A creditor or debtor can delay by filing a reaffirmation agreement;

* An individual debtor will cause a delay by not filing Certification of Completion of Instructional Course Concerning Personal Financial Management (Form 23).

Attorney Bunce is correct. It is not that easy to dismiss your own Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A debtor can file a motion to voluntarily dismiss the bankruptcy case, but the court may or may not approve the dismissal depending upon the chapter number of the bankruptcy case and the prior history of the debtor in bankruptcy. Also note that if a bankruptcy case is voluntarily dismissed, it may affect a debtor’s rights to the automatic stay in a future bankruptcy case.

The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author (who is only admitted to practice law in the State of California). For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.


I would never recommend filing bankruptcy to just delay creditors. If you are going to file BK, then go through with it. As long as there is no asset, Chapter 7 is a great way to discharge those credit card debts. There is no court appearance needed, just a meeting with a trustee. As I stated above, as long as there is no asset, the trustee will not be interested in your case and will ultimately grant you the discharge.