The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process

Introduction to Chapter 7

Are you considering bankruptcy? Do you need more information regarding how to file bankruptcy? Have you already filed and have a question about what happens next?



This page explains the key elements of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process, including the requirements of the bankruptcy laws enacted by the federal government in 2005.

Even before declaring bankruptcy, there are several steps that must be taken. Some steps are optional, but others, such as credit counseling, are required.

Likewise, after the Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition is filed, the debtor has several obligations to fulfill. Attending the Section 341 meeting of creditors and a pre-discharge bankruptcy education course are two of those requirements.

After a person receives his or her discharge, the case may remain open for several months, and in some circumstances, even years, as the case trustee works to liquidate Chapter 7 bankruptcy assets and distribute payment to creditors.

Although the bankruptcy process is different from case to case, the purpose of this article is to explain the main events that will happen in a normal Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding.


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This page is Section 1 of the following 13-part article:

  1. Introduction to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  2. Investigate Bankruptcy Alternatives
  3. Attend Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling
  4. Select an Attorney
  5. Attend Initial Consultation
  6. Complete Bankruptcy Questionnaire
  7. Finalize and Sign Bankruptcy Documents for Filing with Court
  8. Prepare for and Attend Section 341 Meeting of Creditors
  9. Attend Pre-Discharge Bankruptcy Education Course
  10. Turn Over Nonexempt Assets to Case Trustee
  11. Distribution of Nonexempt Assets to Creditors
  12. Receive Discharge
  13. Order Closing Bankruptcy Case