Bankruptcy Timeline

Eligibility:

Chapter 7 Eligibility: You are eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after eight years have passed from a previous Chapter 7 discharge or after six years have passed from a previous Chapter 13 discharge.

Chapter 13 Eligibility: You are eligible to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy after four years have passed from a previous Chapter 7 discharge or after two years have passed from a previous Chapter 13 discharge.

90 Days Before Filing for a Phoenix Bankruptcy:

You must have been an Arizona resident for at least 90 days when you file for bankruptcy. If you have not lived in Arizona for at least 90 days, then you will need to file for bankruptcy in the state where you previously resided.

Debtor Education Classes:

According to the new bankruptcy laws, you must complete the appropriate credit counseling and debtor education classes prior to filing your Phoenix bankruptcy petition. At the end of the course, you will be given a Certificate of Completion. This certificate must be included with your final petition or your bankruptcy case may be dismissed.

Your Bankruptcy Case is Filed:

As soon as your Phoenix bankruptcy petition is filed with the courts, then your case officially begins. You will automatically be granted two things:

  1. A bankruptcy Trustee will be appointed on your behalf to manage your case. Specifically, the Trustee will review your case, make sure you have no missing information in your petition, and schedule a meeting with your creditors.
  2. An Automatic Stay will be issued on your behalf. This federal law prohibits your creditors from contacting you in writing or by phone to collect any money from you or from taking any legal action against you.

15 Days After Filing for Bankruptcy:

About two weeks after your case is filed with the court, you will receive a Notice of Commencement of Case. Within this notice will be the scheduled date for the Meeting of Your Creditors. This notice and meeting date will also be sent to your creditors, who will be given a deadline for objecting to your petition or filing their own claims against you.

30 Days After Filing for Bankruptcy:

About one month after you file your bankruptcy petition, you will be required to attend the Meeting of Your Creditors. Here are a few key points about this meeting:

  • Your attendance at this meeting is mandatory. If you do not appear, your bankruptcy case will be dismissed, and you will have to file your petition all over again.
  • The meeting will be held at the local Bankruptcy Court, will be fairly informal, and will last about 10 to 20 minutes.
  • You will have to testify under oath that your petition is accurate.
  • The Trustee appointed to your case and your attorney will both be present. Your creditors may attend, but they normally do not appear. The Trustee indirectly represents them.
  • The Trustee will ask you questions about your finances and your bankruptcy petition. He/she will try to find any of your property that is not protected by state or federal exemptions and take that property, so that it can be distributed to your creditors.

60 Days After the Meeting of Your Creditors:

About two months after the Meeting of Your Creditors, you will receive a Notice of Discharge, which is an order from the United States Bankruptcy Court indicating that your approved debts were discharged. (You will receive this notice ONLY if your Trustee does not dismiss your case or if your creditors do not object to the discharge of your debts.) Once your debts have been discharged, your creditors are prohibited from making any attempt to collect money from you.

Congratulations!

You are now debt-free and given a financial new beginning! You may begin to build your credit score back up and to make wise financial decisions. You cannot file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy within an eight-year period, and the bankruptcy will be reported on your credit report during that eight years. But, it is now possible to rebuild your credit back up to the level you had it at before filing for bankruptcy.