Generally, a simple, no-asset Chapter 7 bankruptcy case will last about 4 months from filing to discharge. A no-asset case is one in which all assets of the debtor are exempt. (Exempt assets are those assets that are removed from the bankruptcy estate and are not available to pay the claims of creditors. The debtor gets to keep exempt property for use in making a fresh start after bankruptcy.)
When filed, the Court sends out a Notice of Filing to all parties in the case, notifying everyone of the filing, the scheduled date of the 341 Meeting of Creditors (usually 30-40 days after filing), and of the deadlines involved. Specifically, the notice contains a Deadline to File a Complaint to Determine Dischargeability of Certain Debts. This deadline is 60 days after the 341 Meeting of Creditors. The day after this date is the earliest that a Court will issue a Discharge to the debtor. District Courts vary in when the Notice of Discharge is sent out, but it's usually within one week after this deadline.
Getting a discharge is what a bankruptcy debtor is after. If the case is a no-asset case and the Trustee has reported that any and all assets are exempt and/or abandoned, the case will typically be closed shortly after the Discharge. A case can, however, remain open for months or years after the discharge when there are assets to administer.
A chapter 13 case will be open at least as long as the repayment plan - 36 to 60 months.
For help, contact the Law Offices of Darren J. DiMarco.Call (760) 496-1990 for San Diego County & (949) 288-6526 for Orange County. Or, you can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.