Chapter 7 Timeline for Debtors

bankruptcy-court-mainChapter 7 bankruptcy cases in the Eastern District of Virginia have a predictable timeline associated with their administration.  Failure to file the required documents by the statutory deadlines can result in dismissal of the bankruptcy case.

Before the Bankruptcy Filing
The debtor must complete their credit counseling.  This must be completed through one of several Court approved credit counseling companies before the bankruptcy filing.

14 Days from the Bankruptcy Filing
The debtor must file their Bankruptcy Schedules and Statement of Financial Affairs pursuant to Local Bankruptcy Rule 1007-1.  Failure to file the Bankruptcy Schedules and Statement of Financial Affairs will cause the bankruptcy case to be dismissed.

30 – 45 Days from the Bankruptcy Filing
The debtor must attend their meeting of creditors before their bankruptcy trustee pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 341.  Failure to attend this meeting will cause the bankruptcy case to be dismissed.

5 Days from the Meeting of Creditors
In order to claim a homestead exemption under Virginia Code 34-4, the debtor must set such real or personal property apart through the filing of a Homestead Deed on or before the fifth day after the date of the meeting of creditors held pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 341.

60 Days from the Meeting of Creditors
The debtor must complete an instructional course in personal financial management in order to receive a discharge under chapter 7 pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 727.  Pursuant to Rule 1007(b)(7) of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, the debtor must complete and file Certification About a Financial Management Course, Official Form 423.  Official Form 423 must be filed within 60 days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 341. Failure to file the certification will result in the case being closed without an entry of discharge.

90 Days from the Bankruptcy Filing
A creditor or other party in interest has 90 days from the bankruptcy filing to object to the debtor receiving a discharge or to challenge whether certain debts are dischargeable.

Entry of Discharge
After the deadline has passed to file an objection to the debtor receiving a discharge or to challenge whether certain debts are dischargeable, the Clerk’s Office will enter the debtor’s bankruptcy discharge.  The entry of the discharge brings the bankruptcy case to a close.