How Long Does It Take to Declare Bankruptcy?

in User Help Last updated Apr 11, 2018

Before you file for bankruptcy, be aware that declaring bankruptcy can sometimes take months to finalize. The process can range from six months to, sometimes, years. Any unexpected complication can cause the process to drag on for a long time. If you are filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you have to consider the time you need to clear your debts.  Timing is important when you plan to declare bankruptcy. When you and your attorney time it correctly, you can build a healthier financial life in a reasonable amount of time. 

Can anyone apply for bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy, both Chapter 7 and Chapter 14, have been an option for a long time, but only since the last economic crisis did it become more common for individuals to use it to escape their debt problems. Before that, the term seemed to be exclusive to corporate financial situations. Most people have the impression that bankruptcy always takes years to complete and that you can never recover financially once you’ve committed. For some it is the best option and fortunately for them, they can choose a reputable attorney to represent them and they’ll find that the process is as smooth as filing taxes. Those that use bankruptcy properly can use it as a tool to recover from a bad situation and give them hope for the future.

Factors That Could Delay The Process

There are factors that can delay the bankruptcy process. This generally happens when the person filing is not prepared when they submit their case. Most often, it’s because they didn’t gather the information that they should have and their creditors or trustee ask for more documentation.  They are permitted to do that to strengthen their case, and it can cause huge delays. It is also possible to have issues with the property at stake and the creditor raises an objection to your declaration. If either of these situations occur, your case can be pushed back months or even years, until the court clears the documentation and you are declared bankrupt by the court.

If everything goes smoothly, the whole process of declaring bankruptcy generally takes less than a year. Be sure that you remember that you are not legally bankrupt until the court officially declares you bankrupt, so be sure to work closely with your attorney during the case to make sure you are well informed.  


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