How Long Does a Bankruptcy Stay Last

How Long Does a Bankruptcy Stay Last?

Bankruptcy is a legal process that provides individuals or businesses with financial relief and a fresh start from overwhelming debt. However, it is essential to understand the implications and duration of bankruptcy before considering filing. One common question that arises is: “How long does a bankruptcy stay last?” In this article, we will explore the various types of bankruptcy and delve into the timeframes associated with each. Additionally, we will address frequently asked questions to provide a comprehensive understanding of bankruptcy duration.

Types of Bankruptcy:

There are different types of bankruptcy, but the two most common ones are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

1. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy:
Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as liquidation bankruptcy, involves the complete discharge of most debts. It is generally a faster process compared to Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, the duration of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy stay depends on several factors.

2. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy:
Chapter 13 bankruptcy, often referred to as reorganization bankruptcy, allows individuals with a regular income to create a repayment plan to pay off all or a portion of their debts. This process typically lasts longer than Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy Duration:

1. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Stay:
The duration of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy stay primarily depends on the complexity of the case. On average, it lasts approximately three to six months from the time of filing to the discharge. The discharge is the point at which most debts are wiped out. However, it is important to note that the bankruptcy filing remains on the individual’s credit report for ten years from the date of filing.

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2. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Stay:
Chapter 13 bankruptcy stays typically last longer than Chapter 7. The repayment plan in Chapter 13 bankruptcy usually lasts three to five years. During this time, the debtor makes regular payments to a bankruptcy trustee, who then distributes the funds to creditors as outlined in the plan. Once the repayment plan is successfully completed, any remaining eligible debts are discharged. Similar to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy stays on the individual’s credit report for seven years from the date of filing.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Will bankruptcy stay on my credit report forever?
A: No, bankruptcy does not stay on your credit report forever. Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on your credit report for ten years from the date of filing, while Chapter 13 bankruptcy stays for seven years from the date of filing.

Q: Can I file for bankruptcy multiple times?
A: Yes, it is possible to file for bankruptcy multiple times. However, there are specific time limits between filings. For example, if you previously filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must wait eight years from the date of filing to file for Chapter 7 again. Similarly, if you previously filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must wait six years from the date of filing to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Q: Will bankruptcy affect my ability to get credit in the future?
A: Yes, bankruptcy can have an impact on your ability to obtain credit in the future. It may make it more challenging to get approved for loans, credit cards, or other forms of credit. However, it is not impossible to rebuild your credit after bankruptcy. With responsible financial management and a positive payment history, you can gradually improve your credit score.

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Q: Can I keep any assets during bankruptcy?
A: The ability to keep assets during bankruptcy depends on the type of bankruptcy you file and the exemptions available in your state. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, non-exempt assets may be sold to repay creditors. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can keep your assets as long as you fulfill the repayment plan requirements.

Q: Can bankruptcy eliminate all types of debt?
A: Bankruptcy can eliminate most types of unsecured debts, such as credit card debt, medical bills, and personal loans. However, certain debts, such as student loans and child support payments, are generally not dischargeable.


Bankruptcy can provide a much-needed financial fresh start for individuals or businesses drowning in debt. Understanding the duration of bankruptcy stays is crucial in managing expectations and planning for the future. Whether you opt for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it is essential to consult with a bankruptcy attorney to navigate the complexities of the process successfully. Remember, bankruptcy is a serious decision and should be approached with careful consideration and professional guidance.