The Process and Timeline of Chapter 13 or Chapter 7

After struggling with debt, you should find out your options under Chapter 13 and Chapter 7. Perhaps you're ready now. Perhaps you still have many questions.

The experienced lawyers of Simon, Fitzgerald, Cooke, Reed and Welch are knowledgeable and compassionate. We listen to your concerns and cover all the bases so that you can make an informed decision on debt relief and feel comfortable putting your trust in us.

We Explain Everything in a Free Consultation

To discuss what to expect from the bankruptcy process, we invite you to arrange a meeting with one of our experienced bankruptcy attorneys at one of our five regional offices across Louisiana:

Shreveport-Bossier City Lake CharlesBaton RougeLafayette

An Overview of the Bankruptcy Process

The actual timeline depends on which type of bankruptcy you file, the complexity of your case, and even where you live in Louisiana.

  • The Initial Consultation — We will sit down with you and discuss your financial information, the status of your mortgage and other factors to determine if you are a candidate for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. We will provide you with a free credit report.
  • Pre-Filing Requirement — Prior to actually filing you must obtain a credit counseling certificate. This can be done online, at home, or in our office, and usually takes no more than an hour.
  • Filing the Petition — If we have all your financial information and your case is straightforward, we can sometimes file the same day. A Chapter 13 petition or complex Chapter 7 may take a few days more to prepare. As soon as we file your case (bankruptcy is filed electronically), in almost all cases an automatic stay is entered and you are under federal protection from creditors — they can no longer contact you, demand payment or pursue legal action.
  • Bankruptcy Court — About 30 days after you file, you must appear before the trustee assigned to your case. The meeting is called a section 341 meeting and is brief and nothing to get anxious about. You will mainly be asked to provide identification and verify information on your petition, schedules and Statement of Financial Affairs and one of our attorneys will accompany you and explain the process in advance.
  • Chapter 7 Discharge — If there are no unusual complications in your case you will receive your "Discharge Order" within four or five months.
  • Chapter 13 Confirmation — Your first monthly payment will be due 30 days after filing, but your Chapter 13 may not be actually confirmed (approved by the court) until 30 to 60 days after your 341 meeting. You will receive a "Discharge Order" eliminating all unpaid dischargeable unsecured debt soon after completion of your plan payments.

contact a bankruptcy lawyer

Call us at 888-341-8091 to arrange your free consultation about the bankruptcy process, including evenings or weekends by appointment. Also see our page on Life After Bankruptcy.

If you decide to retain us, the initial consultation services will be included in the fee quoted to you, which will be contained in a separate contract signed when you retain our office.

*We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.