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How Long Does the Bankruptcy Process Take in Virginia?

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The length of your bankruptcy depends on the chapter you choose to file, the complexity of your bankruptcy estate, and other factors. Chapter 7 is the quickest form of bankruptcy in Virginia, whereas Chapter 13 requires a payment plan over the course of a few years.

Chapter 7 is a liquidation bankruptcy. The bankruptcy court appoints a trustee who takes legal control of your nonexempt assets and sells them to pay off as much of your debt as possible. About a month after you file, the trustee conducts a 341 meeting of creditors to entertain objections they might have about you being allowed to discharge your debt. If, as in most cases, there are no objections, your bankruptcy can proceed. But creditors have 60 days to challenge your right to a discharge, and if they do, your attorney may have to negotiate a resolution or take the issue to the bankruptcy court. Having to litigate the dischargeability of your debt could add time to the process. However, most Chapter 7 bankruptcies are finalized within three to six months.

Chapter 13 is a different process, because you are reorganizing your debt to repay a portion over time. Under Chapter 13, you present a payment plan to the court for approval. Depending on your income and the amount of debt you hold, your payment plan could last from three to five years. During that time, you pay almost all of your disposable income to the bankruptcy trustee for distribution to your creditors. But, when you complete your plan, the bankruptcy court discharges your remaining debt.

Of course, the length of your bankruptcy is only one factor among many when trying to decide which chapter you should file. The type of debt you hold, your employment status, and your annual income are other factors you must weigh when deciding which bankruptcy chapter is most appropriate for you.

If you’re considering personal bankruptcy, you need reliable, personalized legal advice. Call Miller Law Group, P.C. today at 434-218-3987 or contact us online to make an appointment for a FREE consultation.