The timeline to receive your bankruptcy discharge depends upon several factors, including which chapter you are filing under and what kinds of debts and assets you have. Most people in Texas filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy obtain their discharge papers in four to six months, while those filing for Chapter 13 may not receive their discharge papers for several years until they complete the repayment plan.
Understanding How Discharge Works during Bankruptcy
When a bankruptcy case is “discharged,” it means the courts have issued a letter clearing you of your liability for those debts. Once the courts have issued these discharge orders, you will no longer be legally responsible for paying off those debts.
In most cases, the discharge is a permanent order and it essentially prohibits creditors from trying to collect those debts from you.
Once your bankruptcy case has been discharged, those creditors won’t be allowed to:
- call you;
- send you letters;
- email payment requests;
- sue you for those debts; or
- pester you in any other manner.
Timeline for Discharge of a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
If the debtor has assets – real estate, cars – they will need to be collected, sold, and partitioned to creditors, which could affect how long it takes for the case to be discharged. This isn’t often the case, though.
In many Chapter 7 cases, debtors don’t have any property to be divvied up, so the case moves fairly swiftly. Generally, it’ll take under six months until you have your discharge papers in hand.
Timeline for Discharge of a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Remember that the courts won’t issue discharge papers until your debts have been satisfied as per your payment arrangement. Most debtors are assigned to a three- to five-year payment plan. After you have completed all your payments on the plan, you will receive your discharge papers shortly thereafter.
Try Not to Accidentally Hurt Your Chances for Discharge
Run your case by an attorney to make sure you don’t do something that inadvertently wrecks your case. A local bankruptcy attorney will look over your case and provide you with careful instruction so you don’t hurt your chances for having your debts discharged.
For instance, if you buy what the courts consider a luxury item worth more than $500 in the three-month period before you file, those debts might not be discharged.
You’ll want to make sure you take an acceptable money management course, as well. The courts want to see that you are making a legitimate effort to manage your finances better and that you won’t slide back into old habits.
The U.S. Courts reiterate: “The court may deny an individual debtor’s discharge in a chapter 7 or 13 case if the debtor fails to complete ‘an instructional course concerning financial management.’”
For a Bankruptcy Firm in Dallas, Call Warren & Migliaccio
Warren & Migliaccio help individuals in Dallas and nearby communities with their bankruptcy-related legal issues. We even offer a free bankruptcy eBook. For a free consultation at (888) 584-9614, and let us see how we may be of service to you.