Bankruptcy Filing Vs. Discharge Date

By Anna Assad

The bankruptcy filing date is the date when you file the petition for bankruptcy with the court. By contrast, the discharge date occurs toward the end of the process. How long it takes to get from the filing date to the discharge date depends on which type of bankruptcy you file. Chapter 7 is debt elimination and may take only a few months. Chapter 13 involves a debt repayment plan and it may take years until your remaining debt is discharged.

The bankruptcy filing date is the date when you file the petition for bankruptcy with the court. By contrast, the discharge date occurs toward the end of the process. How long it takes to get from the filing date to the discharge date depends on which type of bankruptcy you file. Chapter 7 is debt elimination and may take only a few months. Chapter 13 involves a debt repayment plan and it may take years until your remaining debt is discharged.

Filing

The filing date is the official date your bankruptcy case begins. On this date, you file all the required paperwork for opening a case in your state's bankruptcy court. This includes the petition that asks the court to grant your bankruptcy and lists all your debts, assets and other financial and personal information. The court sends notice to your creditors about your case as soon as possible after you file.

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Discharge

The discharge date is the day the court officially releases you from personal liability for the debts included in your bankruptcy. A discharge is not the official closure of your case, and the court can set it aside if you don't do what the court asked. For example, if the court asked you to turn over an asset and you fail to do so, you can lose your discharge. The final decree, which may come at the same time or after discharge, is the legal closing of your bankruptcy case.

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How Can I Determine the Date of My Bankruptcy Discharge?

References

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How Long Before Debt is Discharged After Bankruptcy?

A bankruptcy discharge is available to you at the completion of your bankruptcy case. Your debt is erased when you receive the bankruptcy discharge, and the debt is no longer enforceable. However, when you receive a bankruptcy discharge will depend on whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the two most common forms of personal bankruptcy.

About Bankruptcy Qualifying Rules

Congress made changes to the Bankruptcy Code in 2005 to address concerns regarding perceived abuse of the bankruptcy process by individuals. Referred to as the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, these changes have made it more difficult to qualify for personal bankruptcy. Now, you must satisfy certain criteria and complete credit counseling before you are eligible to file for personal bankruptcy.

Difference Between Bankruptcy Closing & Dismissal

When your bankruptcy case comes to an end, it is said to have closed, but how it closes could have a significant impact on your liability for your debts. For example, if the court discharges your bankruptcy, you are no longer liable for your debts. If your bankruptcy is dismissed, however, you are still on the hook for payment. Even worse, the automatic stay that prevents creditors from coming after you during the bankruptcy process can be shortened or eliminated altogether if you file for bankruptcy again in the future.

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