Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcies are the two ways to file for bankruptcy in the state of Florida for individuals. Each Chapter has different qualifications and circumstances, which results in different time periods and required actions. Browse down this informative infographic to learn the steps and necessities for filing under each chapter.

Bankruptcy Timeline Infographic

Bankruptcy timeline infographic

First Steps of Filing Bankruptcy

Once you’ve established which chapter you’re filing under, the first few steps are the same. Step one is the most important, hire a bankruptcy attorney. Your attorney will guide you through every requirement and help you understand the daunting paperwork along the way.

Within the first 180 days of filing, you must complete a bankruptcy counseling session at a court approved agency. After the counseling session has been completed, you must file your bankruptcy petition.

Within 15 Days of Filing

Within 15 days of filing the petition, you will need to gather important documents such as:

  • Driver’s License and Social Security Card
  • At Least 60 Days of Paystubs
  • At Least 2 Years of Taxes
  • Any Documents From Creditors
  • Notices Concerning Foreclosure, Repossession, or Shut Off Warnings
  • If filing under Chapter 13, this is also when you need to create your payment plan, or repayment schedule.

Within 30 Days of Filing

If filing under Chapter 7, you will need to reaffirm your debts to the court within 30 days. If filing under Chapter 13, this is when you need to make your first payment to the Court Trustee.

With 45 Days of Filing

Within 45 days of filing you will have your court date, or 341 meeting. Here you will testify under oath on behalf of your claims and documents and that you agree to continue to make payments if under Chapter 13. After your court date, you need to mail your documents to the Court Trustee.

If you’ve filed under Chapter 7, you’re almost done. You will be required to complete a two hour bankruptcy education course. Upon completion, the court will usually take about 4-6 months to discharge all of your debts while you hang tight, then the process is done.

If you’ve filed under Chapter 13, you are required to attend a creditor’s meeting about 6 weeks after your court date. The court will hold an additional meeting after about 10-12 weeks with the Trustee, you don’t need to attend this one, and they will review your payment plan for approval or disapproval.

If the court approves your payment plan, another meeting is scheduled around 6 months after the court’s decision date to follow up with you. They want to make sure you’re continuing to make your payments in full and on time. After this meeting, you’ve got the next 3-5 years to complete your payment plan and finish paying off your debts. Attendance is required at one final Financial Management Course in order to be formally discharged by the court.

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