If you have decided to file for bankruptcy protection then you want your case to be resolved as quickly as possible. Experienced bankruptcy lawyers will work very diligently on your behalf, representing you so that you get the best possible results from your case. The time required for a bankruptcy case to go from start to finish will depend on several factors. The chapter of the bankruptcy code that is used for your bankruptcy petition will play a role in how long the case will take. Your specific financial and debt situation is also a big consideration. Every bankruptcy case is different and unique, and will require a specific amount of time to resolve.
If you have already retained a bankruptcy attorney and the petition has been filed you may wonder what is going on, and why there seems to be a delay in the time line described. There are some factors that could cause your case to drag on longer than necessary, and these can be avoided in many cases. Sometimes your lawyer may be looking at your assets and determining how these can be protected best. If you have a certain amount in assets then the available exemptions may not offer complete coverage. The bankruptcy attorney retained may be examining other possible avenues to help you protect more of your property during the case, and this may take some time to accomplish. If any assets are obtained after you have filed the bankruptcy petition this can also cause some delay in the resolution and discharge.
Sometimes a delay in a bankruptcy case can be caused because you have filed for bankruptcy protection before. If you filed in the past and received a discharge then your attorney may need to ensure that you meet the minimum time requirement for filing again. This can vary, depending on the chapter of the bankruptcy code used for the current and previous cases. If you have not met the time requirements then your lawyer may be delaying any petition filing until you are eligible again. If you have previously filed for bankruptcy protection but the case was dismissed for one of many reasons then your legal representative may need to ascertain why the previous case was dismissed and whether this will affect the current case you are filing.
Another common reason for a delay with a bankruptcy case can be income, especially if you need to file under chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code. When you file the last 6 months of income must be documented for the bankruptcy court. In some cases you may need to delay for a month or two to ensure that you can pass the Means Test. Another reason for delays is failing to turn in the proper documentation and verifications. Before your bankruptcy petition can be filed the attorney must fill out many different forms and provide the necessary documentation and verifications. If you have not turned in all of the materials and proofs requested by your bankruptcy lawyer then your case can not proceed until this is done.