How Long Does Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Take?

Is your debt keeping you up night? Look into bankruptcy protection. Filing may be a hassle, but the proper bankruptcy strategy can help you free yourself from a dire financial situation.

You may be eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also known as the Wage Earner’s Bankruptcy. Under this type of bankruptcy, you may be able to keep your house and your car, but you will have to pay back much of your debt.


Any type of bankruptcy filing can be complex. You begin by filing a petition with the bankruptcy court. At that time, you provide a snapshot of your current financial circumstance: what you own, what you owe, how much money you make and how much money you spend each month.


After filing your petition, you have 180 days to complete credit counseling from a court-approved agency. You also provide the court a plan detailing how you will repay your debts. Creditors may object to your plan, but at your hearing a judge will determine if your plan meets the court’s approval.

The total timeline depends on several factors. In general, if you have an income less than the median income you can stretch out payments over three years. If your income is greater than the median, you may take up to five years to pay. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Kentucky’s median income for the years 2014-2018 was $48,392 for households, and $26,948 for individuals. Of course that may change; courts compare your income to current figures at the time of your filing.


Once you have fulfilled the terms of your bankruptcy, you can begin rebuilding your credit immediately. However, the bankruptcy should stay on your credit report for seven years after the filing date.

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