Written by attorney Casey Kevin Yontz

How Long Does Bankruptcy Take?

The timelines and processes involved in a bankruptcy case in Arizona, are different depending upon which chapter of bankruptcy you file (Chapter 7, Chapter 13 or chapter 11). Our law firm offers a free initial consultation to discuss your situation. Below are the basic timelines for bankruptcy cases in Arizona. 8 Years Before Filing - In Arizona, and every jurisdiction, you must wait 8 years to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case if you have already received a discharge from a prior Chapter 7. 4 Years Before Bankruptcy - You must wait at least 4 years to file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy if you have already filed for Chapter 7, 11 or 12 previously. For a prior Chapter 13 case, you need only wait 2 years after the bankruptcy discharge. 180 Days Before Filing - You must take a credit counseling course from a certified credit counseling agency in order to be eligible to file for bankruptcy. These course are convenient as you can do them on-line, and take up about 60 minutes of your time. 90 Days Before Filing - You must be a resident of the state in which you are filing for a minimum of 90 days or you must have been a resident of Arizona for at least 90 days. Filing - Your bankruptcy case officially begins when you file your petition with the bankruptcy court. At this time, creditors cannot take action against you, and you are officially protected. After Filing and Before Discharge - In Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases in Arizona, you are required by the Arizona Federal District Court to complete a debtor education course provided by a certified agency. Some of these courses can be very educational and helpful. These courses are convenient because like the initial credit counseling, can be done on line. Our law firm recommends Dave Ramsey's Debtor Education Course ( 15 Days After Filing - At this time, you should have gotten a letter from your trustee. You have 15 days after filing for bankruptcy to provide the bankruptcy trustee with specific information about assets, expenses, liabilities, income and more. 45 Days After Filing 341 Meeting of Creditors - In Arizona, you will be in a meeting with the bankruptcy trustee about 45 days after filing for bankruptcy. If you live in Maricopa county your meeting will be in downtown Phoenix, if you live in Pinal County, your meeting will be in Casa Grande. These meetings are held on the record and under oath. They are generally straight forward with a few standard questions, and last about 5 to 10 minutes. Our office will prepare you for your meeting and there will be no surprises. 180 Days After Filing - Government agencies that have claims against you, such as taxes owed to the IRS, will have 180 days after the date of your petition to submit proof of their claims against you. 6 to 9 Weeks after the 341 meeting of creditors - in a chapter 7 bankruptcy case, you will receive a letter from the court, telling you that your case has been discharged. 3 to 5 Years After Filing (Chapter 13 only) -Approximately 3 to 5 years after the date of your first payment based off your Chapter 13 repayment plan, you will receive a formal discharge from the court. All eligible debts will be discharged.

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