How Long After Filing for Bankruptcy Is the Next Step?

By Anna Assad

In both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, the first step after filing the petition and other documentation is the creditors' meeting. Whether the debtor is filing for debt elimination under Chapter 7 or a repayment plan under Chapter 13 affects how many days pass between filing and the creditors' meeting, at which debtors answer questions about their financial situations from their creditors and the court trustee.

Time Between Filing and Creditors' Meeting

The Chapter 7 creditors' meeting is held anywhere from 21 to 40 days after filing the case. The Chapter 13 meeting occurs 21 to 50 days after filing. Federal law allows up to 60 days to hold the creditors' meeting if it is held at a location without regular staffing of those with trustee duties. All petitioners must attend this meeting and answer questions honestly to proceed with the case. Those under Chapter 13 will also make a repayment plan proposal at this meeting.

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What Happens After a Trustee Bankruptcy Meeting?

A trustee bankruptcy meeting is a normal part of a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy process. Some debtors get nervous about attending the meeting, so preparation can help. After the meeting, creditors may have questions or objections, so proceed one step at a time until your bankruptcy is discharged.

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Unlike the popular notion that bankruptcy erases a debtor’s debts, Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also known as the “wage earner’s plan,” allows debtors to forge a path to financial recovery by creating a repayment plan. Named after the chapter of the bankruptcy code that contains its rules, Chapter 13 lets debtors keep their property while repaying the debts owed, under the supervision of the bankruptcy court. This is in stark contrast to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, in which the debtor’s possessions are liquidated in order to pay his debt.

Do Creditors Show Up at a Trustee Hearing?

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