Free Case Evaluation

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Timeline

Anyone considering a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing is wise to ask what to expect during the course of a typical Chapter 13 case. Here's a look at a general timeline for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy (though specifics may vary).

  • Two to four years before filing: Those who receive a discharge in a Chapter 7 , Chapter 11 or Chapter 12 case are not eligible for a Chapter 13 discharge until four years after the initial discharge. Those who have filed Chapter 13 in the past must wait two years. If this is your first time filing, you have nothing to worry about here.
  • 180 days before filing: In this period, filers must complete the BAPCPA-mandated credit counseling session in order to be eligible for bankruptcy protection. Additionally, if a filer filed a previous case but had it dismissed for any reason, she generally must wait 180 days before filing again.
  • 90 days before filing: During this period, filers must have lived in the state in which they plan to file. A local bankruptcy lawyer can clarify any exceptions to this law.
  • Day of filing: Once a filer submits his petition to the court, the automatic stay takes effect and prevents creditors from taking any collection action against a debtor. At this point, a bankruptcy trustee is assigned to the case and all of a filer's creditors will be sent notice that the case has begun.
  • 15 days after filing: By this deadline, filers must submit schedules of their debts, liabilities, assets, income and expenses, as well as their proposed repayment plan. Many filers submit this paperwork when filing their initial petition. Around this time, a Notice of Commencement of Case will be sent to the filer and all creditors listed in the case.
  • 30 days after filing: Filers must make their first payment according to the repayment plan by this date or risk having their case dismissed by the court.
  • 45 days after filing: Somewhere near this point, the Meeting of the Creditors will be held. At this meeting, the filer must attest to the truth, completion and accuracy of all information in her schedules. Creditors have a chance to contest any of the information listed. The bankruptcy trustee oversees this meeting.
  • Three to five years after filing: After adhering to the proposed repayment plan for its full course of time (usually three to five years) and completing the debtor education course, a filer can be eligible for discharge from the bankruptcy court.

If you are interested in learning how Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases tend to work where you live and/or discussing Chapter 13 bankruptcy in more detail with a bankruptcy lawyer, please fill out this form.

Free Case Evaluation

 Laws may have changed since our last update.  This is for informational purposes and is not legal advice.  Speak to a local bankruptcy attorney for legal advice about your particular situation.