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How long can the Trustee keep my BK 7 open?

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    How long can the Trustee keep my BK 7 open?

    I filed my Chapter 7 bankruptcy in July of 2017. It was discharged 11/01/2017. The Trustee took my 2017 taxes (partial) and the pending settlement of a MVA that she received the funds for in February of 2018. She has had all of the available cash for over 2 years. On 01/14/2020, the final report and account, along with the Trustee's Application for Compensation were approved. This was 4 months ago and the Trustee still hasn't made any disbursements of the funds (we're talking about a little less than $11K she had to work with so the creditors are getting roughly 1/3 of what was filed against the estate). At this point I'm worried that even though I've reaffirmed on my house, that she is basically waiting for the equity to go up beyond my exemptions in an attempt to take it too as there is no other reason for the case to have remained open this long. There were never any objections filed on any of her motions by my attorney or the creditors, it just sits there til she decides to work on it. At one point, it sat there for 8 months with nothing being done on it when she already had my taxes and funds from the MVA and the time had already passed for creditors to make claims against the estate. How much longer can she continue to sit on it before the judge steps in and makes her act or can she just leave it open forever? I've tried asking my attorney in the past and got no where with his office letting me know that they essentially file the documents and then they're done with it, so asking him would be pointless.

    Thank you.

    Hi Salem, I read your post about 5 days ago and just now figured out my log on details. Yes, I too had an MVA and the Trustee kept $7K of the settlement $2K for her fees and $5K to our creditors). She filed the Trustee Final Report back in April.
    My understanding is that she sent 10 creditors $X via checks in settlement of our claims.
    Those checks have to clear the Trustee's account before she can close the case.
    I am not 100% sure that the checks to creditors have to clear/be cashed on the Trustee's side but that is my recollection).
    Your case - 1/14/20 to present date is about the same waiting time as me (you are 3 months ahead of me re Trustee report). That said, 2 years is a very long time for your case to close.
    With all that said, I'm at the stage now "so be it" - it will close when it closes.
    I'm sure, given Covid-19 layoffs, biz closed, etc. that I am not not the only one with bad credit!
    Like you, the Trustee's Final Report has been filed and that is the last filing.
    In my case, the trustee filed her final report within 4 months of our discharge.
    I believe since you have the discharge, the Trustee cannot wait for equity and/or take your house.
    Perhaps someone like justbroke will know better or Des (whose @ I can't recall off hand). The advice I received was:

    Once discharged, that's it - the trustee no longer has an interest in your bankruptcy case - well that was my understanding.
    don't believe the Trustee can go back and "reopen" the case for equity in your house. The discharge settled that matter.

    Further, when you re-affirmed your mortgage, that is now a new liability - therefore, that too would also remove any "claim" the Trustee may have in your home. It is bothersome that the case (mine/yours) takes longer to close but as everyone advised me here, do not worry about the "closing" - it's just a clerking issue.

    I hope you get some further guidance from the great people here.
    I will let you know what I find out.
    We used the homestead exemption to protect our equity and we also tried to reaffirm the mortgage but the judge threw out our reaffirmation (THANK GOD).

    I hope my advice is correct - I'm sure the more experienced will correct the points I have wrong.
    Good luck - it's all stressful but the discharge is the cherry so there is no need to worry about them waiting to build up home equity - it's the mechanics of the MVA settlement that makes a small asset case like ours take longer.
    Best regards,


      I found justbroke advice and here it is so once she typed this out I put it out of my head!

      Her advice:

      "It's this simple. Once the Chapter 7 Trustee files the. Final Report (which includes which distributions were made), the court simply waits a certain period of time (typically 30 days), and then administratively closes the case. There is nothing a debtor needs to do after discharge. The rest is the case administration and it reads as though your case administration is completed. It would be an extremely rare occurrence for any creditor to file an objection to the final report. I would say that the Clerk's Office will administratively close the case sometime after 30 days following the Trustee's final report.

      So, you just wait... but remember that the prize was the discharge."


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