The chapter 7 bankruptcy is what most people think of when they think of filing bankruptcy. A chapter 7 is a total liquidation bankruptcy. This does not mean that you lose everything when you file. It means that you get a clean, fresh start. You will be able to exempt certain assets from the reach of the bankruptcy court and keep them for your fresh start.
Chapter 7 takes about 6 months from the time of filing until you are completely done. It requires the applicant to create a petition. This petition will be submitted to the court where it is reviewed by a Trustee. A trustee is an individual, usually an attorney, who administers over your case for the most part. In a chapter 7, a full-fledged judge rarely need be involved.
If you have prepared your paperwork properly, there will be a very short court appearance. Everybody gathers in the same room, waiting for their name to be called. Once called. you have a five-minute (roughly) session with a trustee, where they determine if all of the information you have included in the petition is true and correct. If it is usually there are no problems and you just have to wait to receive your discharge a few months later. The discharge means that you are ready start your new debt free life.
If you and your attorney are meticulous with your submissions to the court, the process can really be composed mostly of waiting for the court to go through all of the proper channels they are required to do.
Do not hide anything from your attorney or the court. They will most likely find out and if they do, you may face a much more dire situation than just debt. If you have hidden something from the court or the attorney, you may face increased fees from the court and the attorney who represented you. You may also face criminal charges.
As long as you are honest and file with a reputable attorney, most cases go without a single snag and after about six months you are on your way with the rest of your life.