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How long does it take to complete the bankruptcy process and receive a discharge of debts?
Each case is different, but a general rule of thumb is that in a Chapter 7 case a debtor's discharge is usually entered between 90 to 120 days after the case was filed provided no objections to discharge are filed. Once the discharge is entered, the case is generally closed shortly thereafter. The entry of a discharge may take longer if a debtor's entitlement to the discharge is contested by the case trustee, creditors or other parties in interest. In a Chapter 13 case, a discharge is entered upon the successful completion of the repayment plan, usually between 36 to 60 months following bankruptcy. In Chapter 11, corporations and partnerships do not obtain a discharge but instead seek court approval of their plan of reorganization, which is known as plan confirmation. Once the confirmed plan is substantially consummated, a final decree will issue completing the bankruptcy process. This process may take several years to complete
What is the function of the U.S. Trustee and where are they located?
The Office of the United States Trustee is an Executive Branch agency that is part of the Department of Justice. It is primarily responsible for monitoring the administration of bankruptcy cases and detecting bankruptcy fraud. It is also responsible for appointing case trustees to administer Chapter 7 cases and a standing trustee to manage Chapter 13 cases. The U. S. Trustee also provides support and oversight to debtors who have filed under Chapter 11. The individuals appointed by the U.S. Trustee to serve as case or standing trustees in bankruptcy are appointed on a rotating basis and come from a list that changes over time.
The Connecticut office of the U. S. Trustee is located at:
Giamo Federal Building - 150 Court Street, Room 302, New Haven, CT - 203-773-2210
What if I am unable to attend the Creditor's Meeting on the date/time scheduled?
If you are unable to attend the Creditor's Meeting on the date/time it is scheduled, you must contact the case trustee assigned to your case if a Chapter 7 or 13 case, or the local office of the U.S. Trustee if a Chapter 11 case as soon as possible, and request the matter be continued to another date/time. If you are unable to travel, you can make a written request to appear telephonically at your Creditors’ Meeting. The case trustee or U.S. Trustee will determine if your circumstances warrant an appearance by telephone. If you are serving in the military and will be out of state, consult the local office of the U.S. Trustee and/or the case trustee to determine how to proceed.
The Bankruptcy Clerk's office has no involvement in the scheduling of your Creditor's Meeting and therefore cannot assist you with any requested changes or telephonic requests. All questions concerning the Meeting of Creditors must be directed to the local office of the U.S. Trustee or to your case trustee.
What is a Section 341 Meeting or Meeting of Creditors?
The Section 341 Meeting (so-called after §341 of the Bankruptcy Code), also called the Meeting of Creditors or Creditors’ Meeting, is a meeting that a debtor is required to attend after filing for bankruptcy. The meeting is conducted by the case trustee or the U.S. Trustee. The Bankruptcy Judge does not attend this meeting. The debtor must appear at this meeting and testify, under oath, about his/her financial condition, assets and liabilities. The debtor will be asked questions about the information contained in the bankruptcy paperwork filed with the court. Creditors may also attend this meeting and may question the debtor about his/her financial affairs. Generally however, most of the questions originate from the case trustee. If a debtor fails to attend this required meeting, the case trustee may seek to dismiss the bankruptcy case. A debtor cannot receive a discharge in bankruptcy without attending this meeting unless a special exception is granted.
The Creditor's Meeting is held between twenty (20) to forty (40) days after the bankruptcy case is commenced. Within a week after the bankruptcy case is filed, the debtor will receive notice by mail of the date and time of the Creditor's Meeting. The debtor is required to bring certain identification information to this meeting.
What if I need to amend schedules other than D,E or F?
All other schedules may be amended without a fee. Schedules are amended by submitting the new schedules entitled Amended, signed by the debtor(s), and clearly noting the nature of the amendment (change) using a bolded or italicized font, or underlining the change(s).
What do I do if I forgot to include a creditor in my schedules? (Schedules D, E and F)
If additional creditors need to be added to your bankruptcy schedules after filing, the applicable schedule (D, E, or F) must be amended. There is a fee to amend schedules D, E and F to add creditors or to change the amounts on these schedules. Amended schedule(s) listing the new creditors and/or any changes must be filed and signed under oath by the debtor(s). A certificate of service is also required indicating that the added creditor(s) have received a copy of the amended schedules and a copy of the Section 341 Meeting Notice. If a large number of creditors are being added, a new creditor mailing list is also required containing only the added creditors names and addresses.
What do you mean by Creditor Mailing List?
A list of creditors is a list of the names and current addresses of all creditors and other parties that should have notice of a bankruptcy. It is prepared by a debtor and must be filed at the same time the bankruptcy petition is filed. As a debtor, it is your responsibility to ensure you have listed current, valid addresses for your creditors. If mail sent by you or the Clerk’s Office regarding your bankruptcy comes back as "undeliverable," it is your responsibility to try to find a good address for the creditor
and notify the Clerk’s Office of the good address. Additionally, if you obtain a different address for a creditor after you file your bankruptcy, you must notify the Clerk’s Office in writing of the new address.
How can I get immediate proof of my filing?
If you feel a more immediate notice of your bankruptcy must be given to a particular creditor, it is your responsibility to determine what type of notice is appropriate and give that notice to the creditor. A printed “Notice of Bankruptcy Filing” can be obtained from the Clerk’s office. This Notice has the Court seal, and the date and time of your filing.
Do I need to send a copy of the petition to anyone else?
No. The Clerk's office will notify all the creditors you have listed on your creditor mailing list of your bankruptcy filing as well as your case trustee and the United States Trustee, by mailing a written notice. For this reason, it is very important that you provide complete addresses, including city, state and zip code, for each creditor on your creditor list.
How are creditors notified of my bankruptcy filing?
A notice entitled “Notice of Chapter ____ Bankruptcy Case, Meeting of Creditors and Deadlines” is issued by the Court to the creditors listed on your creditor mailing list within 5 days of the filing, informing them of your case number, date of filing, social security number, the date of the Section 341 (creditor) meeting, and particular case deadlines. This notice is usually received by the creditors within a week of the filing.