Many people still have a negative view of bankruptcy, treating it like something they would prefer to avoid. They likely worry about how bankruptcy would impact their credit score and think it is only an option for certain people.

However, the concept of debt discharge can be a comfort to people and families struggling with crippling debt, because the idea is to give people a fresh start. Even when it is a relief, bankruptcy is not simple, and it is no quick fix.

How long does a bankruptcy case take?

The most common type of bankruptcies for individuals, known as Chapter 7 or liquidation, generally take four to six months from a filing to a determination by a court. Some cases can last longer, and common types of bankruptcies for businesses can even take years to decide.

What happens with my financial records during bankruptcy?

The finances of a person are a matter of public record once that person files for bankruptcy. This includes a list of assets and debts as well as income and expenses leading up to the filing. These lists are known as bankruptcy schedules.

Can I hide anything from a bankruptcy court?

Lying or concealing information or assets during a bankruptcy proceeding is a federal crime with serious penalties. Regardless of criminal charges, people who are dishonest with bankruptcy courts also risk the loss of their case.

Do I need help to file for bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy filings may have a higher chance of success if the applicant has legal representation. An attorney can help with filing for bankruptcy, completing bankruptcy schedules and representing a person’s interests during hearings.