When you finally file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may feel a huge sense of relief. It will stop creditors from calling you and can help pause any legal proceedings against you brought by creditors. However, filing is only the first step. It will take some time for you to get through the whole process to the discharge phase, which is when you are finally free of your debts.

According to the U.S. Courts, the timeline starts on the day you file, which becomes day one. You will then receive a range of notices and have other deadlines that you must meet and things you must do before the end of the bankruptcy process. The next step is making sure that you have filed all the paperwork you need, including providing your tax returns to the trustee.

The meeting of creditors

The halfway point in your case is the meeting of creditors. You may also see this as the 341(a) meeting. This is when you meet face-to-face with a trustee, who will ask you questions under oath about your petition. He or she may ask you to provide additional information, as well. This meeting usually occurs between day 20 and day 40.

Before the discharge

After the meeting of creditors, you may have additional documents to turn in. You also will need to make sure that you complete a financial course, which is a requirement for filing for bankruptcy under federal law.

The discharge

You will usually get your discharge around day 80 to day 100. You will need to have all agreements and documents turned in before the court can discharge your case. The earliest a discharge can happen is 60 days after your meeting of creditors.

The whole process may take no more than 80 days or about two-and-a-half months to complete. However, it is possible for there to be delays that lengthen the amount of time it takes to discharge your case.