How long does bankruptcy take and what are the overall steps in Pennsylvania?
When bills pile up with no end in sight, bankruptcy can provide the relief you need. But many do not know how long it takes to file for bankruptcy and to discharge (wipe out) debt. The good news is that in most cases, chapter seven bankruptcy can discharge heavy debt within four to six months. All chapter seven cases have three basic steps that we follow at Bononi & Company.
1. Meet with your attorney to prepare all documents.
This is the most important step in the process as this is your chance to meet your lawyer. We meet with all our clients, prepare all of the paperwork and answer all of their questions. We generally schedule at least two meetings with our clients to review and collect all documentation that’s needed and required to file the case.
During the first meeting, we will provide you with a list of any documents that we will need you to bring for us to review. Once you bring those for our review, we will scan them and give you back all your originals.
During the second meeting, we will review your credit report, prepare the required documents and obtain the mortgages, deeds, and other public records information that’s needed for the bankruptcy petition. We are generally able to accomplish this entire process within a week, so you do not need to wait months to get your case filed.
2. 341 Meeting of Creditors
After your case is filed, we get to the second major step in the process where a hearing will be scheduled that your attorney will attend with you. This hearing is called a 341 meeting of creditors which is required in all cases. You will be asked standard questions at the hearing, which will be reviewed with you beforehand so upon arrival, you are prepared and confident. We want you to know what to expect.
3. A fresh start
When your bankruptcy is completed, you’ll get a discharge that essentially erases all of your debts. It is important to remember that this is the first step to starting fresh where you will have a blank slate which will allow you to build your credit. Many clients purchase homes, buy vehicles or even open up other lines of credit after their bankruptcy. After discharge, we provide all of our clients with tips to maximize their discharge and make the most of a new fresh start.