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When is a Bankruptcy Completely Finished?

Posted by attorney Clint Dunaway

One of the major steps to wrapping up a bankruptcy is the Discharge. A discharge means that all of your “dischargeable" debts have been completely erased. Discharges are typically entered 70 to 90 days from the date of your 341 hearing. Many people believe that their bankruptcy is over once a discharge has been entered; however this is not the case. There is one very important step after the discharge, ‘closing’.

After the discharge your trustee must “close" out your bankruptcy in order for it to be completely over. A trustee can close a case anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months after the discharge has been entered. Once your case has been closed an entry will appear on the docket that reads:

“The estate having been fully administered, further administration of the reopened case having been completed, or the case reopened for the filing of further proceedings which either have been filed and no further court action is required or were not filed within 90 days of the reopening; IT IS ORDERED that the case is closed and if a trustee has been appointed, the trustee is discharged from and relieved of his trust. Jurisdiction is retained over any pending adversary(s)."

In most cases the timing of the bankruptcy closure is not an issue; however, it can become important in some certain instances. For example, if you are want to sell your home or any other real property this cannot happen until the bankruptcy has been officially closed. The reason why you can’t sell the property is because the automatic stay is still in effect

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