What to Expect When Filing for Bankruptcy in Florida

Filing for bankruptcy can be an intimidating step to take. You are opening up your finances and personal life for scrutiny by the Bankruptcy Court. However, the actual bankruptcy proceedings are not that scary and do not require much input from you the debtor.

The attorneys of Stamatakis+Thalji + Bonanno will explain each step of the process and prepare you for your brief court appearance. We take the time to answer your questions and address your anxieties. We do not file your bankruptcy petition until we are confident that you will be approved.

Based in Tampa, Florida, we handle consumer and small business bankruptcy in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties and throughout the state of Florida. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

The Process: A Bankruptcy Timeline

Bankruptcy filed

  • Commencement of the case. On the day that your bankruptcy petition is filed (usually electronically), you are protected from creditors under penalty of law. Foreclosure, repossession, wage garnishment and collection actions are immediately halted, at least temporarily.

Filing fee due

  • In both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, the filing fee must accompany the petition which starts the case, unless an application to pay the fees in installments is granted [Rule 1002(b) FRBP].

List of creditors must be filed

  • In both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, the petition must also be accompanied by a list of the names and addresses of the debtor’s creditors [Rule 1007(a) FRBP].

Statement of Social Security Number must be filed

  • In both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, the petition must also be accompanied by a verified statement that sets out the debtor’s Social Security number [Rule 1007(f) FRBP].

15 Days after bankruptcy filed

  • Schedules must be filed
  • Chapter 13 repayment plan must be filed

About 18 Days after bankruptcy filed

Court mails Notice of Commencement of case

30 Days after bankruptcy filed

  • Chapter 7: Statement of Intention regarding secured debt must be filed
  • Chapter 13: First monthly plan payment is due to the bankruptcy trustee

7 Days before the 341 Meeting of Creditors

  • Provide copies of tax returns and financial information

About 120 days after bankruptcy filed

  • 341 meeting (creditor’s meeting) — This is your court appearance. It usually lasts less than 15 minutes. In a consumer bankruptcy, creditors will very rarely actually show up. The judge or trustee will request your ID and ask some verification questions.

30 Days after 341 meeting

  • Deadline to file objection to claim of exemption
  • Chapter 7: Debtor must perform under the Statement of Intention (such as reaffirming your mortgage loan if you intend to keep your house)

60 Days after 341 meeting

  • Chapter 7: Deadline for objection to discharge of a particular debt under §523(c)
  • Chapter 7: Deadline for objection to discharge of all debt under §727(a)
  • Chapter 7: Deadline for U.S. trustee or court to move to dismiss case for “substantial abuse” under §707(b)

More than 60 days after 341 meeting

  • Discharge of debts entered in Chapter 7 case

90 Days after 341 meeting

  • Deadline for non-government creditors to file their proofs of claim

120 Days after bankruptcy filed

  • Final payment on filing fees due

180 Days after bankruptcy filed

  • Deadline for governmental unit to file proof of claim

36 to 60 months (3 to 5 years) after first plan payment

  • Chapter 13 payments conclude
  • Discharge entered under [11 USC §1328]: any remaining debts included in the plan are wiped clean

Caution: This timeline does not include all bankruptcy events. It is a summary description of bankruptcy and may not be accurate under all circumstances. You should consult a qualified attorney to see how the law will apply to your situation.

Talk to an Experienced Tampa Bankruptcy Lawyer

President Obama and the U.S. Congress has designated our offices a Federal Debt Relief Agency because we help people file for bankruptcy. See our frequently asked questions and debt information pages for more background about the pros, cons and applications of bankruptcy. To discuss your specific circumstances and all the ways Stamatakis + Thalji + Bonanno can help, call us at 866-479-6946 or contact us online.