Chapter 13 Bankruptcy / Chapter 7 Bankruptcy / Means Test

How Long Does a Bankruptcy Case Last?

How long a bankruptcy case lasts depends on which chapter you file.  Chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate or discharge eligible debt within a matter of months.  Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you repay debt obligations within an average of 3 to 5 years.  Since each person’s situation varies, the length of your case may also vary depending on your unique circumstances.

Chapter 7 cases completed successfully can take an average of 3 to 6 months to complete.  The case is considered completed when the debtor receives notice of their discharge.  In this case, the debtor is no longer financially responsible to pay the debt.  Anyone seeking protection under Chapter 7 must meet qualifications of the means test.  This reviews finances of the debtor to see if they have enough to satisfy their creditors.  Depending on state income guidelines, if you are above the median amount you may qualify for Chapter 13.

Chapter 13 cases completed successfully can take on average about 3 to 5 years.  Some may be able to complete their plain under 3 but it depends on the situation and debt involved. This is a repayment plan based on the debtor’s ability to make monthly payments.  Such plans often include making payments on secured debts such as a house or vehicle, while avoiding foreclosure or repossession.  As long as payments are made according to the repayment plan approved by the court you can keep your property. You make payments that are interest-free and unsecured debt that remains at the end of the plan may be eligible for discharge.

Reference: http://www.totalbankruptcy.com/overview/faq/how-long-is-bankruptcy.aspx