For some people filing a bankruptcy is a very difficult decision and once they've made it and actually filed for bankruptcy and the process is nearing the end they can breathe freely. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically goes by much more quickly than a Chapter 13 because of the way the bankruptcy is structured. A Chapter 7 is designed to discharge most if not all of your unsecured debt. A Chapter 13 is designed to help you manage payments on your secured debt over a period of three to five years.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, once you file your claim the court will appoint a trustee that will review your finances, speak with your creditors and determine if you have any assets that should or can be sold to pay off your debts. Once they've done all of this and your remaining debts are discharged the process is over. It typically takes a few months from start to finish.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee takes a very thorough look at not only your debts and assets but looks at your expenses and earnings to determine what you can afford to spend monthly on a payment plan to your secured debt creditors. They meet with your lenders and determine how much is a reasonable amount to be paid to each secured debt lender. The unsecured debts are typically discharged. Once the term of payment has expired your bankruptcy is over, this typically takes between 3 and 5 years.