This topic is another of the questions I answer on an almost daily basis. Everyone wants to know how quickly a bankruptcy case takes effect and how quickly it will be done. As far as court procedures go, bankruptcy is relatively speedy.
Bankruptcy Provides Quick Relief
The first thing to know is that starting a bankruptcy case is very fast. From the moment the case is filed, you are placed under the protection of the Bankruptcy Court. This protection, called the “automatic stay” prevents creditors from taking any debt collection actions against you. That means no more phone calls, no more collection letters, and no more threats of foreclosure or repossession. You don’t have to wait to go to court for the protection to take effect. That is another misconception that I address regularly. Once you file for bankruptcy relief, you’re protected until further Order of the Court.
Bankruptcy’s Effect on Your Credit
The second issue I’m frequently asked is when the bankruptcy will take effect on a person’s credit report. This part of bankruptcy takes longer. Until you complete your bankruptcy case and receive a discharge, your creditors aren’t obligated to remove information or negative treatment from your credit report. If you are in a long-term bankruptcy case, such as a Chapter 13 Debt Consolidation, it can take up to 5 years from the time you file a case before you receive a discharge. As a result, one of the other conversations I have regularly is with clients who have checked their credit and then call me worried and upset that a particular creditor is still showing negatively on their report just as it was before they filed a case. I reassure everyone that it is a normal part of the process. All you’ve got to do is complete your bankruptcy and receive a discharge. After your debts are discharged that negative treatment has to be removed.
If you’re dealing with debt collectors constantly bothering you for payment and you’re seeking some relief, please make an appointment to come see us. We have convenient offices in Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi. Our experienced bankruptcy attorneys handle all types of financial situations and offer free initial consultations to help you decide the right path to take for financial relief.
Nick Gajewski is an Associate Attorney at the Bond & Botes Law Offices in Florence and Haleyville, Alabama. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alabama, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Alabama School of Law. Nick joined the team of Bond & Botes bankruptcy lawyers back in 2014 and has been helping clients navigate financial issues since. Read his full bio here.