How Long Is Chapter 7 Active?

By Anna Assad

A Chapter 7, or debt elimination, bankruptcy case is active until the court issues your final decree, the judgment that officially closes the case. The average Chapter 7 bankruptcy case remains active for around three to six months. The duration will depend on whether you had assets when you filed; a non-asset bankruptcy goes much faster. If you fail to follow court orders or fulfill debtor requirements, the court may dismiss your case before you obtain a discharge of your debts.

Timeline

About 15 days after you file your Chapter 7 petition, you and your creditors will receive written notice of case deadlines and the date of your meeting with creditors. The meeting is usually held around six weeks after you file. Once 60 days has passed since the date of the creditor meeting, you'll receive a discharge as long as you have met all your debtor obligations. The court usually issues the final decree with your discharge if you had no assets in the bankruptcy. If you had assets, the court may issue the final decree in 180 days, or approximately six months after your filing date.

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