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South Florida Bankruptcy Attorneys

Bankruptcy Deadlines and Timeline: TIMELINE OF A CASE

Important Pre-Filing Deadlines Within 10 Years before Filing

Residence or Homestead Real Estate and Burial Plots

During the 10 years before filing for bankruptcy, if you transfer any property in order to purchase any of the above listed types of property with the intent to hinder, delay or defraud a creditor, the value of that purchased property, for purposes of determining how much of it you can protect in bankruptcy, will be reduced by the amount of the value of the other property that was initially transferred.

Self-Settled Trust or Similar Device

If you make a transfer with the intent to hinder, delay or defraud anyone, a bankruptcy trustee can “avoid” any transfer of property that you make to yourself under a “self-settled” trust or similar device where you are the beneficiary.

Within 8 Years before Filing a Chapter 7

Prior Discharge in a Chapter 7

More than eight years must have passed between the filing date of a prior chapter 7 case in which you received a discharge and the filing of a subsequent Chapter 7 case.

Within 6 Years before Filing a Chapter 7

Prior Discharge in a Chapter 13

More than six years must have passed between the filing date of a prior chapter 13 case in which you received a discharge and the filing of a new Chapter 7 case. This restriction does not apply if unsecured creditors received 100 percent of their debt in your prior Chapter 13 discharge, OR they received 70 percent of their debts AND we prove to the court that the prior Chapter 13 plan was proposed in good faith and with your best effort.

Within 5 years before Filing

Criminal, Intentional, Willfull or Reckless Conduct

If you owe money from a criminal act, intentional tort, or willful or reckless misconduct that caused serious injury or death in the preceding five years, you cannot exempt more than $146,560 in a residence, homestead or burial plot. You can never exempt more than that amount for any debts related to a violation of the RICO act or SEC law, or if you are convicted of a felony that demonstrates that your bankruptcy filing was an “abuse.”

Within 4 Years of any Filing

Fraudulent Conversion

Florida law considers it to be a fraudulent conversion when any assets or property are converted from non-exempt to exempt with the intent to hinder, delay or defraud a creditor. A creditor can initiate a legal action to reverse or stop a further conversion within four years of the date of the conversion.

Within 4 Years before Filing a Chapter 13

Prior Discharge in a Chapter 7

More than four years must have transpired since your prior filing of a prior Chapter 7 case that resulted in a discharge before you can file under Chapter 13.

Within 1,215 Days before Filing (@ 3.3 years)

Homestead

Your homestead exemption is limited to $146,560 if you acquired a homestead within 1,215 days before filing for bankruptcy, except to the extent that the money used to purchase the new home came from the sale of a previous home in the same state. Florida law provides an unlimited exemption for a homestead purchased more than 1,215 days before filing for bankruptcy.

Within 730 Days before Filing

Applicable Law

Your place of domicile during the 730 days before you file for bankruptcy determines which state’s law will govern the exemptions that are available to you. If you were not domiciled in a single state for that entire time, then the exemptions are based on the law of the state where you were domiciled during the 180 days before that 730 days or  the place where you were domiciled for longer than any other place during that 180 days.

Within 2 Years of any Filing

Fraudulent Transfer

The Bankruptcy Code allows the trustee to “avoid” any transfer of an interest in property or obligation made or incurred within two years from the date of filing if the transfer was made or the obligation was incurred with the intent to hinder, delay or defraud any entity. If you received less than the reasonably equivalent value in exchange for these transfers, they can also be “avoided” in most circumstances.

Within 2 Years before Filing in Chapter 13

Prior Discharge in a Chapter 13

In order to obtain a discharge in a second chapter 13 case, two years must have passed between the filing date of the prior Chapter 13 which resulted in a discharge, and the filing date of the new chapter 13 case.

Within 1 Year before Filing

Any Property

You are barred from receiving a discharge in a chapter 7 case if you transferred, removed, destroyed, mutilated or concealed any property with the intent to hinder, delay or defraud within one year prior to filing, or at any time after the filing.

Preferential Transfer to “Insider”

You cannot transfer money or property worth $600 or more to an “insider”, while you are insolvent, if the transfer results in that “insider” creditor collecting more than it would have under Chapter 7.  Such a transfer can be “avoided” or reversed as a “preferential transfer.”

Within 180 Days before Filing

Credit Counseling

You are required to complete credit counseling briefing. Exceptions to this requirement include a waiver for incapacity or active military duty in a combat zone. You can seek deferral for exigent circumstances, but you still need to finish the course within 30 days after the bankruptcy petition is filed.

Prior Dismissals

You are barred from filing a petition for bankruptcy if within 180 days before filing you 1) voluntarily dismissed a prior case following a creditor’s request for relief from the automatic stay, or 2) had a prior case dismissed as a result of your willful failure to abide by a court order or appear before the court.

Within 90 Days before Filing

All other Preferential Transfers

You are barred from transferring money or property worth $600 or more to a creditor, while you are insolvent, on a debt such that the creditor would be able to collect more than it could under Chapter 7 liquidation. This sort of “preferential transfer” can be “avoided” or reversed.

Luxury Goods or Services

There is a presumption that a debt owed to a single creditor for more than $600 worth of luxury goods or services is not able to be discharged when it was obtained within 90 days before filing.

Within 70 Days before Filing

Cash Advances

There is a presumption that any debt resulting from cash advances totaling more than $875 obtained from open-ended credit on or within 70 days before filing for bankruptcy is not able to discharged.

Bankruptcy Filed – Commencement of Case

Petition Filed

Filing a petition with the Bankruptcy Court commences a voluntary bankruptcy process. Husbands and wives are allowed to file a single petition together in order to start a joint case.

Filing Fee Due

The filing fee in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases must accompany the petition that initiates the case. There is an exception where the debtor has been granted an application to make installment payments on the fee or the fee has been waived for someone earning less than 150 percent of the poverty level.  Current poverty level can be found here.  The current filing fee for a Chapter 7 case is $306, and it is $281 for a Chapter 13 case.

List of Creditors Must Be Filed

The petition in both a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13 case must be accompanied by a list of the names and addresses of your creditors, also known as the “creditor matrix.”

Statement of Social Security Number Must Be Filed

The petition must contain a verified statement that identifies your Social Security number in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases.

Paystubs Must Be Filed

Copies of all payment advices or other evidence of payment, if any, received by you from an employer within 60 days before the filing of the petition, with redaction of all but the last four digits of the your social-security number or individual taxpayer-identification number, must be filed.

Automatic Stay in Effect

An automatic stay prevents executions of judgments on existing lawsuits and stops foreclosures and collection efforts until the bankruptcy case closes or is dismissed. It ceases to apply any time a particular property is no longer deemed to be part of the “estate.” In situations where a prior case was dismissed within the past year, the stay will last only 30 days unless the debtor moves for an extension and can show good faith. There is no automatic stay in situations where two cases were dismissed during the past year. The debtor must then move for a stay within 30 days of filing and show good faith.

14 Days after Bankruptcy Filed

Schedules Must Be Filed

Schedules of assets and liabilities, a schedule of current income and expenditures, a schedule of executory contracts and unexpired leases and a statement of financial affairs must be filed within 14 days after filing the bankruptcy case. This applies in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases.

Chapter 13: Plan Must Be Filed

Chapter 13 cases also require that the plan must be filed with the petition or within 14 days after the bankruptcy matter was filed. The plan provides for the submission of future income and how creditors will be treated, setting out when and how much each type of creditor will collect.

About 5-10 Days after Bankruptcy Filed

Court Mails Notice of Commencement of Case

The court will mail a notice of commencement of case to the debtor and to the creditors contained on the list of creditors/creditor matrix. This happens about 5-10 days after the bankruptcy case is filed. Information about the §341 meeting date and the deadline for objections to discharge and for filing proof of claims is contained in the notice.

Within 30 Days after Bankruptcy Filed

Statement of intent — You must file a statement of intent within 30 days after filing a bankruptcy petition or on or before the date of the §341 meeting, whichever comes first. The statement indicates whether you intend to 1) retain the asset or lease and continue making payments, or 2) surrender the property.  If you retain, you must also specify if the property is claimed as exempt, if you intent to redeem it, or reaffirm the debts secured by it.  This deadline can be extended by the court. Before filing the statement, a copy of it must be served on the trustee and the creditors that are named on it.

Chapter 13: Plan Payment Due

You must start making plan payments within 30 days after the bankruptcy is filed in a Chapter 13 case.

Adequate Protection Payments

You must make adequate protection payments by paying on your residential lease and on any other allowed claims secured by personal property within 30 days of a plan or a claim for relief.

About 21-60 Days after Bankruptcy Filed – Creditor’s Meeting

14 Days before §341 Meeting

You must provide the creditor with your tax returns within seven days before a §341 meeting if the creditor makes a request for them within 14 days before the meeting.

7 Days before §341 Meeting

Provide Copies of Tax Returns – Within seven days before the first date set for the first meeting of creditors, you are required to provide a copy of 1) your most recent federal income tax return, 2) your tax transcripts, or 3) a statement that there are no such documents for the year ending immediately prior to the commencement of the case. This information must go to the trustee and to all of the creditors that have requested it. You must also provide the trustee with any pay stubs and additional requested documents.

1 Day before the §341 Meeting

Tax Returns for Prior Four Years – You must file all tax returns that need to be filed for the prior four years at least one day before the §341 meeting.

§341 Meeting (Creditor’s Meeting) is Held

The trustee is required to preside at a meeting of the creditors within a “reasonable time” after bankruptcy has been filed, according to §341 of the Bankruptcy Code. This meeting can take place between 21 and 50 days after the filing of the petition. The court will mail a notice of commencement of case, which will include the meeting time and date. Although each debtor is required to attend the meeting and testify under oath, most creditors do not attend. A creditor’s absence from the meeting does not affect its right to challenge the discharge in a Chapter 7 case or to object to the plan in a Chapter 13 case. However, the court will dismiss your case if you fail to attend the meeting.

60 Days after Bankruptcy is Filed

Proof of Insurance – Within 60 days for filing for bankruptcy, you must provide proof of maintaining insurance on leased personal property.

Within 20-45 days after §341 Meeting

Chapter 13 Confirmation Hearing – The Chapter 13 confirmation hearing will be held within 20-45 days after the §341 meeting.

Within 30 Days after §341 Meeting

Deadline to File Objection to Claim of Exemption

If either the trustee or any other party of interest objects to your exempt property claims, they are required to file their objection within 30 days after the §341 meeting.

Chapter 7: Debtor Must Perform Under the Statement of Intention

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding, you must perform under the statement of intention by either 1) keeping the asset and continuing to pay on it, 2) reaffirming the debt and continuing to make payments, 3) claiming the asset as exempt, 4) paying the replacement value of the property to redeem it, or 5) surrendering the collateral. You are allowed to later cancel or rescind a reaffirmation agreement before the discharge or within 60 days after the date the agreement was filed in court, whichever is later, by giving notice to the creditor.

60 Days after First Date Set for §341 Meeting

Financial Management Course

You must complete a financial management course within 60 days after the first date set for the §341 meeting in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.

Deadline for Objection to Discharge of a Particular Debt in Chapter 7

Up until 60 days after the first date set for §341 meeting, creditors can file a complaint to object to the discharge of debts that were obtained by false pretenses, false representation or actual fraud; debt from fraud or defalcation while acting in a fiduciary capacity, embezzlement or larceny; and debt for willful and malicious injury. This deadline applies to objections to discharge of consumer debts owed to a single creditor and aggregating more than $600 for luxury goods or services incurred by an individual debtor on or within 90 days before a Chapter 7 bankruptcy; and cash advances of more than $875 in the 70 days preceding filing. Both of these debts are presumed to be non-dischargeable.

Deadline for Objection to Discharge of All Debt in Chapter 7

Until 60 days after the first date set for a §341, creditors can file a complaint to object to the discharge of all debts because of misconduct, including transfer, destruction or concealment of property; concealment, destruction or falsification or failure to keep financial records; making false statements; withholding information; failing to explain losses; failing to respond to material questions; and having received a discharge in a prior case filed within the applicable time periods.

Deadline for U.S. Trustee or Court to Move to Dismiss Case for “Substantial Abuse” in Chapter 7

The U.S. trustee or the court has until 60 days after the first date set for the §341 meeting to move to dismiss a case where debts are primarily consumer debts if it finds that the granting of relief would be a “substantial abuse” of Chapter 7’s provisions. The Bankruptcy Reform Act expanded “substantial abuse” to include a means test that allows you to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy only if your income is below the median income in your state of residence, or you have net income that is less than the lesser of 25 percent of your non-priority unsecured debt or $7,025, whichever is greater, or $11,725. The act took effect on Oct. 17, 2005.

More Than 60 Days after §341 Meeting

Discharge Entered in Chapter 7 case

A discharge must be entered “forthwith” after the expiration of the period for objecting to discharge or moving to dismiss the case, according to court rules. Such objections must be made within 60 days after the first date set for a creditor’s meeting. However, the discharge is not absolute and final, because the trustee can seek to have the discharge set aside in situations where the debtor fails to turn over non-exempt property, where the debtor fails to take other required actions or where there were other pending matters that would result in the denial of the discharge. You are required to provide at least 28 days notice to the trustee and all creditors before the hearing. You should receive notice that your case is closed within another 30-45 days after discharge.

90 Days after §341 Meeting

Deadline for Non-Government Creditors to File Their Proofs of Claim

Within 90 days after the first date set for a §341 meeting, all creditors except for governmental units must file their proof of claim. You can file a claim on behalf of a creditor 30 days later if you want them included in the bankruptcy. You should make objections to claims before any funds are distributed, even though there are no deadlines for you to object.

120 Days after Bankruptcy Filed

Final Payment on Filing Fees Due

You must make your final payment within 120 days after filing for bankruptcy if the court allowed you to pay your filing fees in installments for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case.

180 Days after Bankruptcy Filed

Deadline for Governmental Unit to File Proof of Claim

Within 180 days after a case has commenced, a governmental unit such as the Internal Revenue Service must file its proof of claim in order to receive payments from the estate.

1 Year after Bankruptcy Filed or 90 Days after End of Tax Year, whichever is later, and Annually Thereafter

Annual Statements Due – Annual statements are due one year after the bankruptcy is filed or 90 days after the end of the tax year, whichever is later, in Chapter 13 cases. They must also be filed at least 45 days before the anniversary of the plan every year thereafter.

3 to 5 Years after First Plan Payment

Length of Payments Under Chapter 13 Plan

Plan payments must continue for at least the three-year period beginning on the date the first payment is due under the plan, up to the maximum of a five-year period, unless all allowed claims are paid sooner. If you and your spouse’s combined annual income is less than Florida’s medium income, a Chapter 13 plan will last three years or less. The time period is five years if your income is equal to or greater than the state’s median income.

Financial Management Course

You must complete an approved financial management course before the date of the last payment or by the date of filing for hardship discharge in Chapter 13 cases. The Chapter 13 trustee is allowed to offer the course.

Discharge Entered in Chapter 13

You can seek a discharge of the remaining unsecured debts within 28 days notice as soon as is practicable after the completion of all payments under the plan. You should receive notice that your case is closed within 30-45 days thereafter.

For more information on bankruptcy timelines or how we can help you with all of the above and more, please call us today at 754-400-5150 or contact us online for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our country’s history is filled with examples of people who have struggled financially but have gone on to become famously wealthy.   They all reclaimed their part of the American Dream and we want to help you reclaim yours!  Let the lawyers and staff of the Law Offices of Evan M. Rosen, serve you!

We are a debt relief agency.  In addition to other legal services, we help clients file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.