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    Bankruptcy Timeline

    Chapter 7 Eligibility:

    You are eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after 8 years have passed from a previous Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 discharge, or 6 years have passed from a previous Chapter 13 or Chapter 12 discharge. If it has been less than six years from a previous Chapter 13 discharge, you might still be eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if payments under the plan in the prior case totaled:

    –       100% of the allowed unsecured claims in the prior case; or

    –       70% of the claims and the plan was proposed in good faith and was the debtor’s best effort.

    Chapter 13 Eligibility:

    You are eligible to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy after 4 years have passed from a previous Chapter 7, Chapter 11, or Chapter 12 discharge, or two years have passed from a previous Chapter 13 discharge.

    180 Days Before Filing Bankruptcy: 

    You must complete a budget and credit counseling course offered by a non-profit organization/agency approved by the US Bankruptcy Court Southern District Court of Florida within 180 before filing for bankruptcy.

    When your Case is Filed:

    In a voluntary case, the filing of the petition automatically places you in bankruptcy. In other words, the filing of the petition itself constitutes the order for relief. A bankruptcy trustee will be appointed to oversee your case and ensure you are eligible for bankruptcy.

    The trustee is responsible for reviewing your petition, making sure everything has been completed, and scheduling a meeting with your creditors.  The court will also notify all of the creditors listed in your petition of your bankruptcy, and enter an Automatic Stay, which will prohibit your creditors from trying to collect or take legal action against you.

    14 Days After Filing Bankruptcy:

    If you did not declare your assets, liabilities, expenses, and income (commonly referred to as Schedules A through J) at the time you filed your bankruptcy petition, you have 14 days from the filing date of your petition to do so. Failure to file schedules in 45 days will result in automatic dismissal of your case.

    15 Days After Filing Bankruptcy:

    The Court will send a Notice of Commencement of Case within 15 days of your filing to you and to the creditors that appear on your bankruptcy petition. This notice will indicate the date of the Meeting of Creditors (or 341 meeting, held 21 to 50 days from the petition date), as well as the deadlines for creditors who wish to object to your petition and file their own claims against you (usually 30 days after the conclusion of your 341 meeting). If you’re filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and a payment plan was not filed along with the petition, you have 15 days from the filing date of your petition to do so.

    30 Days After Filing Bankruptcy:

    Within 30 days you must file a Statement of Intention, indicating whether or not you intend to surrender your property that serves as collateral, or if you plan on keeping it. Deadline for performing intention is 30 days after first date set for Meeting of Creditors or such longer time as court fixes. Failure to abide by the deadline does not forfeit property right, but automatic stay will expires. Deadline to surrender property not redeemed or contracted for reaffirmation is 45 days after the Meeting of creditors.

    45 Days After Filing Bankruptcy:  

    You must file a statement that acknowledges that you received an explanation of which bankruptcy chapters are available to you, evidence of payment from your employer from within the last 60 days, an itemized statement of your monthly income, and an estimate of any anticipated increases income or expenditures in the next year.

    21 to 50 Days After Filing Bankruptcy:

    A Meeting of Creditors will be held. You are required to attend this meeting. At the meeting, you will be required to testify under oath that your petition is accurate. If you fail to appear at this meeting your bankruptcy case will be dismissed and you will have to file all over again.  Furthermore, if your creditors or bankruptcy trustee have any objections to your claims for exemptions, they have 30 days following this meeting to make their objections known.

    90 Days After the Meeting of your Creditors:

    All creditors, with the exception of the government, must file proofs of claim if they wish to receive payments from your case in the event that you have assets that are available for liquidation.


    Your Chapter 7 case will be discharged after 60 days from the date of the meeting as long as the trustee does not seek to dismiss your case or your creditors object to the discharge of your debts.

    Your Chapter 13 case will be discharged at the end of your payment plan, usually three to five years from the date of your bankruptcy petition filing date.

    To discuss your concerns regarding foreclosure, debt liquidation, or debt repayment plans, contact a skilled Fort Lauderdale Bankruptcy Lawyer. Call us at (954) 282-8296 to arrange an initial consultation and find out what we can do for you.