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How Long Does It Take to File for Bankruptcy?

How Long Does It Take to File for Bankruptcy?

The bankruptcy process can be made a little easier to deal with when you work with a great bankruptcy law firm like ours.  Our bankruptcy attorneys, serving Lancaster County and the surrounding Counties, have many years of combined experience that can turn what is normally a headache into a chance to breath and regroup.  When you have the assistance of a qualified bankruptcy lawyer, you can rest assured that you are in good hands.  But one might beg the question, how long does it take to file for bankruptcy?  To answer this question, we should first understand a little more about what happens during a bankruptcy. 

Take a look at our brief overview of bankruptcy here to help you get up to speed on what to expect and to make an appointment to speak with our bankruptcy attorneys.

lancaster pa bankruptcy lawyers

If you are looking for the quick and easy answer to this question, there might not be one specific to you and your case.  While an average case might take 3-4 months, that is dependent on several factors that might make that timeline longer or shorter. 

So, what exactly dictates the length of time required to file for bankruptcy? 

The first thing that will determine how long things will take is getting the process started.  Filing your paperwork with the court can take some time, as you will need to gather information regarding your income, debts, expenses, assets and other financial information that you are required to provide.  Not providing this information or not being accurate on the details of information provided can delay your discharge.  It is best to follow the instructions and advice from your attorney to safeguard your case from any unnecessary postponements of your case.

In some instances, there is little time to prepare all of the necessary documents for a complete bankruptcy petition to be filed. In this situation, you can file an emergency bankruptcy petition, which is often referred to as a “short form petition.” This petition contains only a part of the full bankruptcy petition, but provides the necessary protection provided when someone files bankruptcy, which is to stop creditors from attempting further collection against you and your assets. Once this emergency petition is filed, the remaining parts of the petition must be filed with the Bankruptcy Court within fourteen (14) days.

Though it is rare, a creditor or multiple creditors may be the reason for your case taking longer than normal to reach its end.  If creditors are unable to obtain certain information, they might object to your debt being discharged.  There is no guarantee that they will be successful in their objection but it is a possibility.  This becomes even more likely if they suspect that you have committed fraud.  Having a bankruptcy lawyer from our firm will give you the best chance at getting through a situation like this as quickly as possible.

Certain unexempt assets that might be liquidated in your case, may complicate things as well.  Even if you receive your discharge, your case will remain open until the property is sold and the funds are distributed to the proper creditors.  After that has taken place, a final report will be submitted by the trustee appointed in your case, which will be reviewed by the Court before your case is ultimately concluded.

Student loans can also cause a bankruptcy case to take longer than normal as well if you are attempting to discharge this debt.  Student loan debt necessitates a unique process that is unlike normal bankruptcy proceedings.  Because of the complex nature of these cases, you would have to prove that repaying the debt would create undue hardship.  At that point, it may be possible to settle with a lender, though you will most likely need to prove your case at a trial before the Bankruptcy Court before receiving a discharge.

Working with a bankruptcy law firm, like Nikolaus & Hohenadel, LLP, should be your first step in your bankruptcy journey.  With five offices in Lancaster County (Lancaster city, Columbia, Elizabethtown, Strasburg, and Quarryville), you will be able to retain our services no matter where you reside in the region, whether in Lancaster or in a nearby county We are also available remotely.

You might want to check out some of our other great blogs that cover a range of topics in regards to bankruptcy and other related subjects! 

Contact us today to schedule a time to speak with us about your case.