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Bankruptcy Case Timeline

Bankruptcy Track
Bankruptcy Timeline On a Track

Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases travel along a track, much like a train.  Unless unforeseen problems get in the way, the cases generally stay pretty much on schedule.

Here is the timeline, listing main events in a typical chapter 7 case.

Credit Counseling

Prior to filing, every debtor must take this, and obtain a certificate confirming completion of the class. Agencies providing this must be approved by the U.S. Trustee’s office, which maintains a list of such agencies on the bankruptcy court websites.

Filing of Petition

The voluntary chapter 7 bankruptcy petition is filed under oath along with schedules A through J and required statements including a statement of financial affairs detailing the circumstances of the person filing.

Creditors Meeting

This occurs 30 days more or less after date of filing.  Creditors rarely actually show up, but the filer must thoroughly familiarize themselves with the petition and answer questions under oath from a trustee.

Financial Management

Also called ‘debtor education’ this class is mandatory.  A certificate of completion must be filed within 60 days after the creditors meeting or the sought after discharge will not be issued.


Depending on the district, occurs 60-90 days after creditors meeting.  This is the document terminating the legal obligation to pay most debts.

Case Closing

Depending on district, generally follows discharge by 10 days to 2 weeks.  This ends the case.  Any filings that have not been made can only be made by reopening the case and paying a filing fee.


This is a simple overview giving a general idea of the timeline in an ordinary case.  Many if not most cases follow this schedule.  However, this does not include the myriad of things that can and do happen.  For example, debtors electing loan reaffirmation must file the reaffirmation agreement within 45 days after the creditors meeting.  Creditors wishing to object to the debtor’s discharge or to challenge the dischargeability of certain debts have 60 days after the date first set for the meeting of creditors.

Bankruptcy requires total review of finances including all debts, income and assets. It is highly recommended that an experienced bankruptcy attorney in the jurisdiction be retained to guide all filers through the complexities of bankruptcy law and procedure.

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Attorney Myers is a member of the American Trial Lawyers Association, Massachusetts Academy of Trial Lawyers, and New Hampshire Trial Lawyers Association. The Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers offer a broad range of legal services in personal injury cases in Massachusetts (MA) and New Hampshire (NH) areas.

The information on this web site is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice. Laws vary widely from state to state. You should rely only on the advice given to you during a personal consultation by a local attorney who is thoroughly familiar with state laws and the area of practice in which your concern lies. This web site must be labeled advertisement in some jurisdictions.