Typically a “no asset” Chapter 7 bankruptcy case (where the trustee does not take any of the debtor’s property) will be discharged and closed within three to four months after the case is filed. Make sure to discuss with your Utah bankruptcy lawyer the complete time frame for a Chapter 7 case.
About four to six weeks after the case is filed, the trustee conducts a 341 Meeting (the Meeting of Creditors). Your Utah bankruptcy lawyer will be at this hearing with you. About 60 days after this meeting, the Chapter 7 case is discharged. If the trustee decides that there are no assets that the trustee can or wants to take from the debtor, the trustee will file a “no asset” report. A “no asset” report is a report that the trustee files with the court stating that the trustee has no intention of taking any of the debtor’s assets due to the fact that there are no non-exempt assets of consequential value. If this report is filed BEFORE the discharge is granted, then the Court will sometimes close the case when the discharge is granted. Therefore, a typical “no asset” case is closed and done within three to four months after filing the case.
If the trustee finds additional information after the case is closed, the trustee may reopen a closed case in order to recover assets or to further administer the case. This rarely happens. Generally once a case is closed, it is never reopened.
If the trustee in a Chapter 7 case does find assets, the case could be open for as long as it takes the trustee to collect and sell the assets and then notify creditors and distribute money to them. This can take anywhere between several months to several years. Unless cause exists to prevent it from happening, a debtor will still obtain a discharge in the bankruptcy about three to four months after the case is filed. Once a debtor receives a discharge, the case is not necessarily closed. The debtor still needs to comply with all of the Chapter 7 trustee’s requests to turn over assets or provide information. Your Utah bankruptcy lawyer can help you comply with any of the trustee’s requests.