One of the most common questions we here is “How long does bankruptcy take in Maryland”. There are actually a few ways to look at this question and we will review them below.

First of all, “how long does bankruptcy take in Maryland” could mean how long does it take an attorney’s office to prepare your bankruptcy petition. In our office we usually tell clients that we take about ten (10) days to complete the bankruptcy petition which typically includes reviewing your bills, wages, assets, credit reports, tax returns, and court filings. If you are able to get all of this information together quickly then it will help us complete your bankruptcy petition. And of course all attorney fees need to be paid so we can then file your case in court.

So we see here that the time it takes to prepare a bankruptcy petition should be approximately ten days after we have received all the information needed and completed paying all attorney fees. If it takes longer to collect the required information then of course it will take longer to complete your Maryland bankruptcy petition.

Secondly, “how long does bankruptcy take in Maryland” could mean how long the court process takes. Once your petition is completed, as discussed above, then it is time to come into the office to review and sign the petition. The process of reviewing and signing the documents usually takes 1 – 2 hours depending on complexity of the case. After the petition is signed we will submit the petition to the court and immediately receive a case number. This is when the “automatic stay” begins and your bankruptcy case is officially started. At this point the court process begins.

Approximately forty days after the filing of your bankruptcy petition you will attend a 341 meeting of creditors. This meeting is intended so that the trustee has an opportunity to ask some questions about your bankruptcy petition and so that your creditors can ask questions if they wish. While it is not typical that creditors appear at the 341 meeting of creditors it is possible. This meeting will usually last about fifteen minutes but will be during a one hour time block since there will be other meetings occurring during the same time block.

After the meeting of creditors it is time to wait for your discharge. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy the discharge will typically arrive six to eight weeks after your meeting of creditors. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy the discharge will arrive after your payment plan complete and affidavit requesting discharge is filed.

In summary, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be completed and discharge received in about ten to twelve weeks after filing of your bankruptcy petition and in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy the case can be completed and a discharge received after the payment plan ends.