Chicago Bankruptcy Question: What is the timeline for Chapter 7?

Chicago Bankruptcy Question of the Day: What is the timeline for a Chapter 7?  The Chapter 7 bankruptcy process in Chicago does follow a reasonably strict schedule as dictated by the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, the local bankruptcy rules and the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. 

The first step is getting your Chapter 7 bankruptcy filed.  How long that takes is really up to the individual filing the case and the specific facts of the case.  Your bankruptcy attorney should schedule a basic timeline for getting you filed at your first consultation.

Once your Chapter 7 bankruptcy is filed in the Chicago area, the bankruptcy court will assign the case a specific case number, a Chapter 7 trustee and a date and time for your Section 341 Meeting of Creditors with that trustee.  Notice of your filing is sent to all of the scheduled creditors with notice of the meeting.  This must be sent out at least twenty days prior to the scheduled hearing, so your meeting cannot be held less than twenty days from the date of filing.  In Chicago Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, the meeting is usually held somewhere between thirty to forty-five days after the date of filing.  If the volume of filing is high, meetings can be set out even further.

Once you attend your Section 341 Meeting of Creditors, assuming it is concluded on that date, there is a sixty day waiting period.  This is a mandatory waiting period meant to give your creditors and trustee an opportunity to review your financial history and to determine whether or not they wish to file any objections in your case.  In Chapter 7 bankruptcies, objections are very rare and if they are likely, your bankruptcy attorney should warn you of them well before you file your case.

After the mandatory sixty day waiting period, the bankruptcy court is free to issue a discharge in your case (assuming you have completed the required personal financial management class).  In Chicago Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, it usually takes the court two to four weeks to issue the discharge.  Once the discharge is issued, your case is closed and completed.

This is a basic timeline for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Chicago.  As always, there can be fact specific items that can make your individual case take longer.  An experienced Chicago bankruptcy lawyer will guide you through this process, explain any potential issues or delays and be by your side throughout.  At Ledford & Wu, we pride ourselves on making sure that our clients are advised and aware of every step in the Chapter 7 process.  We are intimately familiar with the Chicago area Chapter 7 trustees, the court process' and the potential issues creditors can create in Chapter 7 cases.  Call us today for a free consultation.

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