Bankruptcies can be a little complicated, and complicated things can take time. How long does a bankruptcy take in Georgia? Even if you have a simple one, you can expect it to take at least four to six months, but many will take longer. At Seymour and Associates in Augusta, GA, we can walk you through the timeline for both a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
What is the Bankruptcy Timeline for Chapter 7
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is one where most—and in some cases, all—of your debt will be forgiven. This seems like an attractive option but should be pursued as a last resort as it will weigh on your credit more heavily and you may lose some of your assets in the process. You also have to be below a certain income threshold.
Steps in a Georgia Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
- File an Automatic Stay—As soon as you file for bankruptcy, the court will issue a stay which will protect you from collections and creditor harassment.
- Meeting of Creditors—Your case does not go before a judge with a Chapter 7. This meeting of creditors will likely be the only meeting you will have to attend and it will usually just be with a court-appointed trustee. They will go over your finances and ensure you pass the means test to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
- Report Issued—Your trustee will issue a report, assuming you passed the means test. At this point, creditors will have 90 days to object to the findings of that report.
- Continuing Education—After your meeting of creditors, you will have 45 days to attend your assigned financial education course.
- Bankruptcy Order—Assuming there are no objections, your debts will be discharged after the court issues your bankruptcy order. If it was decided that assets were to be sold to cover some of your debts, the trustee will handle that process for you.
What is the Bankruptcy Timeline for Chapter 13
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you establish a plan to repay a percentage of your debts. This plan gives you some breathing room. It will still weigh heavily on your credit scores and affect your future financial prospects for a few years, but it is often preferable to a Chapter 7. The steps here are a little different.
Steps in a Georgia Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
- File an Automatic Stay—Just like with a Chapter 7, once the bankruptcy is filed, you get an immediate stay of collection from the creditors.
- Meeting of Creditors—Here again, you will attend a meeting of creditors where a trustee will go over your finances and your plan. This is where you will have to prove you can make the payments in addition to your normal household expenses
- Confirmation Hearing—This step is unique to Chapter 13. This is where you will get a hearing before a judge. This will occur typically 60 days after your filing date.
- Issued Confirmation—Once any objections from your creditors have been resolved your terms of bankruptcy will be established. This is where your plan will get approved, though it is possible for your case to be dismissed at this time.
- Continuing Education—Like with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, those granted a Chapter 13 bankruptcy also have to complete financial education courses. You have to complete all assigned courses before your case closes at the end of your payment plan.
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