The Chapter 13 filing process generally takes 95 days from the filing of the petition to the approval of the repayment plan. But the bankruptcy won’t actually be discharged until the three- to five-year plan is completed.
Here’s what to expect over a typical Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding.
- Complete credit counseling from an approved agency — within 180 days before filing.
- An attorney can help with preparing the paperwork, which includes …
- A list of creditors and how much is owed to each
- Evidence of income
- A list of property and valuables
- A recent tax return
- A description of your living expenses
- A certificate of completion for the credit counseling course
- File a bankruptcy petition, which includes $313 in court fees, with the local bankruptcy court. This will put a temporary pause on any debt obligations. Foreclosure proceedings and most debt collection attempts will stop until the repayment plan is complete.
- Submit a repayment plan within 14 days of filing the petition. The plan describes how lenders will be repaid.
- Start following the repayment plan within 30 days after filing the bankruptcy case, even if the court hasn’t approved it yet.
- The court will assign a trustee, who will review the case and meet with creditors.
- The trustee will set up a creditor meeting between 21 and 50 days after you file the petition. At the meeting, you’ll answer questions under oath about your debt and proposed plan.
- Attend a confirmation hearing within 45 days after the creditor meeting. At the hearing, a judge will decide on whether to approve the plan. If the plan doesn’t meet standards, you can try to modify the plan or convert the filing to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
- Follow the repayment plan over three to five years. The trustee will collect and distribute payments throughout this time.
- The bankruptcy will be discharged after the repayment plan is fulfilled and you’ve taken a debtor education course from an approved agency, and you’ve met all other requirements.