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What Happens When a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case Ends?

Posted By Allmand Law Firm, PLLC || 21-Aug-2013

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Final Decree

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help eliminate or wipe out debt obligations for qualifying debtors. When debt is eliminated it is known as a discharge. When this happens, many people think their case is finished. Well, not quite. While getting debt discharged is the primary goal for most filers, this isn't the actual end of the bankruptcy case. The case has officially ended when a document known as the Final Decree is entered by the court.

Many people file Chapter 7 bankruptcy with intentions of getting debt discharged, but this doesn't end the case. While timing varies for discharge approval, it may be somewhere from a 3 to 6 months. A Final Decree is entered to the court by the trustee. This action is completed if the debtor used assets to satisfy creditors. This action is important and debtors should distinguish the differences between the two.

When the Final Decree Isn't issued With the Court

If a Final Decree isn't issued or entered with the court, you could still be liable for outstanding debt that wasn't discharged. Upon getting close to the end of your case, you should have already completed the financial management course that is required. This is a different course from the credit counseling you needed to complete in order to file your case with the court. If the financial management course is not completed your debts may not get discharged. Talking with an experienced bankruptcy attorney will give better insight on what to expect since each case varies.

Considering Bankruptcy?

If you are considering bankruptcy but not sure it is right thing for you to do, you can always contact us to set up a free consultation. We are always here to help.


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