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A Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition can be completed relatively quickly, as your debt can be discharged within three to six months of filing your petition. Once you file your petition with the appropriate court, the court should issue an automatic stay, which prevents your creditors from taking any collection action against you. Next, the court will assign a trustee to oversee your case, review your petition, and schedule a meeting of your creditors.

15 days later
Once you file your bankruptcy petition, you have 15 days to disclose information about your assets, liabilities, expenses, and income. However, your bankruptcy attorney will most likely file these schedules with your original application. In the next 15 days, the court will mail you a Notice of Commencement of Case, which gives a date for your meeting with your creditors. The court will also provide this notice to your creditors, along with a deadline for them to file a claim against you.

30 days later
You are required to file a Statement of Intention within 30 days after your case is filed. The Statement of Intention tells the court whether or not you plan to keep your property or surrender it to your creditors. If you plan to keep your property, you need to clearly state whether you plan to reaffirm your debts and continue making payments or redeem the property by paying fair market value.

3 to 6 weeks later
The meeting of your creditors occurs between three to six weeks after you file your case. At least seven days before the meeting, you need to give the bankruptcy trustee and creditors a copy of your latest filed tax return. Your court-appointed trustee will oversee this meeting, where you will be asked to testify about the accuracy of your previously provided financial statements.

The best way to stay on track during the bankruptcy process is by working with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Since 1990, Cutler & Associates, Ltd. has provided quality legal representation to Chicagoland residents.