Bankruptcy is used to get rid of your debts. However, lawyers of Dallas based law firm say, bankruptcy does not end when you get your discharge. The case is not officially over till the court enters a final order for the same. Until the case is officially closed, you need to cooperate with the bankruptcy trustee to resolve the issues.
What is the difference between entering the discharge and closing of the bankruptcy case?
When a discharge is entered in the bankruptcy case, your personal liabilities for the debts included in your bankruptcy case are wiped out. In the case of chapter 7, this takes place a few months after filing your case. In case of chapter 13, the repayment plan lasts for 3-5 years and the discharge is granted by the court after that. However, even after getting the discharge, the case remains open till the final decree on closing your case is entered by the court. The case is not closed if the bankruptcy trustee continues managing your case.
Responsibilities even after getting a bankruptcy discharge
Even after getting a discharge, there are certain responsibilities that you need to fulfill. In case the bankruptcy case is a complex one involving ongoing lawsuits or appeals; it may remain open even after getting a discharge. Additionally, any non-exempt property that has not yet been abandoned by the trustee, continues to be a part of the bankruptcy estate. The case is not closed till the trustee files a report informing that the entire property of the estate has been processed. Till your case is closed, you need to assist the trustee by turning over the non-exempt asset to the trustee; provide any additional information or documents; testify in a pending lawsuit or appear for a deposition or 2004 examination.
When is the bankruptcy case closed?
In the case of no-asset chapter 7 bankruptcy, a report of no distribution is filed by a trustee with the court. In this case, the case is closed shortly after receiving the discharge. However, if there are non-exempt assets involved, the trustee requires time to go through the ongoing lawsuits in bankruptcy. The case is not closed until all issues are resolved and the property is dispensed.
Can the bankruptcy case be reopened?
Even after the case is closed, your creditors, trustees or even you can request the court to reopen the case. In case you provided any false information on bankruptcy documents or failed to disclose all the property, the trustee or creditors can ask the court to reopen the case to administer the assets or cancel the discharge.
Sometimes, the debtor can also ask to reopen the bankruptcy, especially if they forgot to list any debt, or a creditor is violating the discharge. To know more about your options, you can call (888-297-6203) to discuss with experienced bankruptcy lawyers.