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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing in Rhode Island: How Long Will It Take?

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filings take how long to complete in Rhode Island?

Let’s pretend you filed a Rhode Island Chapter 7 bankruptcy case today. If you did, your case would come to an end in about 90 days. What happens during that time?

Let’s examine a typical Chapter 7 filing in RI:

  1. You complete your first education course on-line, or over the phone. It takes about 60 minutes and is easy.
  2. Your bankruptcy lawyer obtains a bankruptcy-specific version of your credit report.
  3. Your 50 page bankruptcy petition is filed electronically with the RI Bankruptcy Court in Providence.
  4. A Chapter 7 trustee (another lawyer) is assigned to review your petition.
  5. Your attorney sends your tax returns and pays advice information to the court/ trustee.
  6. The Bankruptcy Court Noticing Center contacts each creditor listed in your petition.
  7. You complete your second debtor education course which takes 2-3 hours.  Also very easy.
  8. Once your course is completed, your attorney files a certificate of completion with the court.
  9. A 341 meeting of creditors is scheduled 30-35 days into the process.  Hearings take place in Providence.
  10. You attend the meeting of creditors to answer common questions from the assigned trustee.
  11. If your property is exempt (protected), the trustee files paperwork with the court saying you have been examined and there is no property to distribute to creditors.
  12. If you have assets that are unprotected, the trustee will collect the property for later distribution to creditors.
  13. Around day 90, your dischargeable debts are wiped out and your case is over (if no creditor has contested your case.)

It’s easier to understand the Chapter 7 bankruptcy timeline if you divide it in thirds. If you filed your case today, you would have to attend a creditors meeting in 30 days.  Then, if no creditor contests your case and your trustee doesn’t need to distribute any assets, your case is over 60 days after the hearing.

I realize it is stressful to think about filing for bankruptcy.  If handled correctly, however, there is nothing to worry about.  I have represented more than 3,000 clients over the past 21 years.  If you can answer my questions honestly and completely before the bankruptcy petition is filed, you will be amazed how fast and straightforward bankruptcy can be.  I have never filed a bankruptcy petition that was not approved by the court.

A 341 meeting of creditors typically lasts 5 minutes or less.  It is not a court room.  There is no judge, jury, or really anything you would associate with “court”.  Honest debtors are literally out the door in a matter of minutes.

About Mark Buckley

Consumer Bankruptcy, Estate Planning, and debt-settlement attorney licensed in RI & MA. I am the only bankruptcy lawyer who is a certified financial planner professional. 

To plan your estate, or resolve debt concerns, call me at (401) 467-6800.