A Chapter 7 is one of the fastest routes through bankruptcy, taking as little as four to six months to complete in many cases. However, it will remain on your credit report for up to 10 years after the date that you filed. Thus, Chapter 7 can offer fast relief, but it will still have some consequences for long after you receive a discharge of debts.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

There is no specific amount of time that it takes to obtain Chapter 7. However, most people are through the process relatively quickly. On average, it only takes four to six months to get a full discharge of your debts.

One reason Chapter 7 takes less time than other types of bankruptcy, such as Chapter 13, is that the discharge of debt is rarely challenged. Although there will be a meeting of the creditors (called a “341 hearing”) where your bankruptcy trustee and creditors can ask you questions, that rarely results I an adjustment of how much you can discharge. The purpose is generally to ensure you are acting in good faith.

What Can I Do to Speed Up My Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

There are steps you can take to make your Chapter 7 bankruptcy go faster. The more prepared you are for submission of documents, discussions with lawyers, and hearings, the quicker things will happen in your case.

Here are some steps you can take to speed up your Chapter 7 bankruptcy process:

  • Gather all financial documents prior to seeing your attorney
  • Ensure you have funds for a filing fee, which changes periodically
  • Have a list of all debts, unsecured and secured
  • Collect contact information for all creditors
  • Present your financial information to your attorney in an organized manner
  • Allow your attorney time to process your case
  • Review your drafted legal documents as quickly as possible
  • Sign legal documents when necessary
  • Stay in constant contact with your legal team

Your attorney will do whatever is possible to expedite the bankruptcy process, but it’s important for you to know that it can take a few months.

When Will Creditors Stop Contacting Me?

When you file for bankruptcy, your creditors should stop contacting you right when they are notified. You can notify them when they call, or they should receive written notification from your attorney. Once you have legal representation, they may only contact your attorney or the court regarding your case.

If a creditor does continue to contact you after you’ve filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you should notify your lawyer right away. The creditor may be violating your consumer rights, and they may be required to pay for your stress and other damages.

How Long Does Chapter 7 Stay on Your Credit Report?

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 10 years. Then, it is automatically removed. There is little you can do to reduce this amount of time.

However, having a bankruptcy on your credit report is typically better than multiple delinquent accounts and overlimit credit lines that may have been present in the past. In fact, sometimes a bankruptcy can actually improve your credit score. If it does not right away, it certainly will over time.

How Long Do Your Discharged Debts Remain on Your Credit Report?

Your Chapter 7 discharged debts, including unsecured debt like medical bills and credit card accounts, will be noted with “included in bankruptcy” or similar wording specialized by the credit reporting agency. They will no longer affect your credit score because they are delinquent or overlimit.

However, debts that were not discharged in your bankruptcy, such as student loans, child support, alimony, and some tax debts, will remain on your credit report as they normally would without a Chapter 7. Your Chapter 7 can only help with those debts that were included in your discharge.

Can Bankruptcy Information Be Removed from Records More Quickly?

If there is any incorrect information about your bankruptcy or the discharged debts, you can dispute it with the credit reporting bureaus to have it removed before the normal 10-year removal marks. Credit report bureaus like Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion are required to remove any incorrect information, even if it simply involves a date or monetary amount.

A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Help You Get Through the Process Quickly

We know that you want to have debts wiped clean as quickly as possible. That’s why it’s important to work with Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys who understand how to push your documents through the system and expedite hearings. Our skilled bankruptcy professionals at Clark & Washington have helped countless clients just like you.

Call us today to schedule a case review and begin the Chapter 7 process.