5 Steps Between ‘Discharge’ and ‘Case Closed’ in a Las Vegas Bankruptcy

Most people file bankruptcy to discharge excessive credit card debt, so they are surprised that the discharge is not the end of their cases. In other words, the discharge is not the last thing that happens before a bankruptcy case is concluded. There are a few things that must happen before then, though they’re mainly acts performed by the bankruptcy trustee and don’t take a lot of time. Here are some of the final steps.

  1. The discharge order does not eliminate or release the assets in the bankruptcy estate to the debtor. This means that if you have any nonexempt assets worth anything, such as nice furniture, you won’t be able to sell it until the trustee decides to sell them.
  2. The trustee must recover any fraudulent or preferential transfers before the case can be closed. This is one reason why Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyers often recommend people pay for their bills and goods like groceries out of cash for as long as possible before filing bankruptcy. This way none of the purchases can be considered preferences. Fraudulent transfers, of course, shouldn’t be done at all.
  3. The trustee will make the final distribution of the assets in the bankruptcy estate to the creditors.
  4. The trustee will file a final report and account of the trustee with the bankruptcy court.
  5. The bankruptcy court will enter the order closing the case.

Debtors rarely receive the final order closing their cases, so those curious should contact their bankruptcy lawyers or the bankruptcy court.

Importantly, there are times when cases will take longer than they should, and debtors might be interested in selling their property, even though it’s technically a part of the bankruptcy estate. Don’t do that. Instead, they should have their Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyer file a motion with the bankruptcy court demanding the trustee abandon the assets. Debtors can often succeed, and then they will be able to sell the released assets. It’s almost never the case that a bankruptcy trustee dawdles or delays a case closure for frivolous reasons. Usually, there’s a problem with a creditor or a preference that is drawing out the case.

For more questions about bankruptcy in Las Vegas, please feel free to contact an experienced Haines & Krieger Las Vegas bankruptcy attorney for a free initial consultation. Call us at 1-702-880-5554 to set up your free consultation.

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