How long does it take to get a bankruptcy discharged?

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Bankruptcy is a legal process that provides individuals or businesses with a fresh financial start by eliminating or restructuring their debts. One common question that arises when considering bankruptcy is, “How long does it take to get a bankruptcy discharged?” The discharge of bankruptcy refers to the completion of the process, where the debtor is released from the obligation to repay certain debts. In this article, we will explore the factors that influence the timeline for getting a bankruptcy discharged.

Types of Bankruptcy

Before delving into the timeline, it’s important to understand the different types of bankruptcy. The two most common types for individuals are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often referred to as “liquidation” bankruptcy. It involves the sale of non-exempt assets to repay creditors. The process typically takes around three to six months to complete.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Chapter 13 bankruptcy is known as “reorganization” bankruptcy. It allows individuals with a regular income to create a repayment plan to pay off their debts over a period of three to five years. The discharge in Chapter 13 bankruptcy occurs after the completion of the repayment plan.

Factors Affecting the Timeline

Several factors can influence the timeline for getting a bankruptcy discharged. These include:

Type of Bankruptcy: As mentioned earlier, the type of bankruptcy chosen will impact the timeline. Chapter 7 bankruptcy generally has a shorter timeline compared to Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Completeness of Documentation: Providing accurate and complete documentation is crucial for a smooth bankruptcy process. Any delays in gathering and submitting the required documents can prolong the timeline.

Court Processing: The court’s caseload and administrative processes can also affect the timeline. The availability of court dates, hearings, and the overall efficiency of the court system can impact the time it takes to get a bankruptcy discharged.

Creditor Objections: Creditors have the right to object to the discharge of certain debts. If a creditor raises objections, it can lead to additional court proceedings and delays in the discharge process.

Financial Management Course: Individuals filing for bankruptcy are required to complete a financial management course. The timing of completing this course can affect the overall timeline.


The timeline for getting a bankruptcy discharged depends on various factors, including the type of bankruptcy, completeness of documentation, court processing, creditor objections, and the completion of a financial management course. While Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically takes around three to six months, Chapter 13 bankruptcy can take three to five years to complete. It is important to consult with a bankruptcy attorney to understand the specific timeline and requirements for your situation.


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– Investopedia:
– Legal Information Institute: