Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Basics

What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also called liquidation, is the most common type of consumer bankruptcy.  Chapter 7 bankruptcy completely eliminates dischargeable debt forever.  Individuals who file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy relief have proven to the court that they have no realistic means of repaying any significant portion of their debt in the foreseeable near future.


A successful chapter 7 bankruptcy case will legally excuse the debtor from having to repay any discharged debts.  The vast majority of our chapter 7 bankruptcy clients are able to keep everything they own through asset protection laws (also called bankruptcy exemptions).  A typical Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case takes about four months from start to finish.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy - Debt Wipe Out
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy - Debt Wipe Out

Typical Chapter 7 bankruptcy procedure

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1. Free Consultation with Attorney Doan

Let's see what's going on with your life and finances and what options you have. We'll explore Chapter 7, Chapter 13, and non-bankruptcy options such as debt-settlement or budget restructuring. 


If we agree Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is right for you, we can get the case started that same day. We offer low fees and easy payment plans.

2. Case Preparation

Unless there is some legitimate reason for delaying the filing of your chapter 7 bankruptcy case, usually the sooner we file, the better. I'll pull your credit report from Experian, Equifax, and Transunion, and give you a checklist of items and a link to a questionnaire that provides me with the information I need to prepare your case for review.  I'll also provide you with a link to complete your online Consumer Credit Counseling class.

3. Pre-Filing Case Review

Once I have completely prepared your chapter 7 bankruptcy case, we'll review your case in detail and make sure we're both satisfied that its ready to file.

4. The Bankruptcy Filing

After your case is filed, you will receive a Notice of Commencement of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in the mail from the United States Bankruptcy Court giving you the date and time of your 341 Meeting of Creditors. You'll get at least 30 days notice of your bankruptcy meeting.

5. 341 Meeting of Creditors

Your Bankruptcy Meeting of Creditors will usually take place in a meeting room at the US Bankruptcy Court in the District where you reside. 

Bring your Driver's License and Social Security Card. I will be there with you. A court-appointed trustee will ask you a few questions under oath about the accuracy of your bankruptcy documents that were filed with the court.

For most debtors, all you have to do next is wait for Discharge. If the trustee needs additional information, your hearing may be continued to another date, which may be canceled if the trustee is satisfied with your submission. 

6. Bankruptcy Discharge

After the conclusion of your 341 Meeting, creditors have 60 days to object, provided they have legitimate grounds. Creditors rarely object in our cases since I screen for possible objections prior to filing. About two to four weeks after the creditor objection deadline, the court will enter your discharge.

It has now been about three and a half to four months since you filed bankruptcy, and you will begin to discover life after debt.