How long after discharge is bankruptcy case closed?

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When individuals file for bankruptcy, they often wonder how long the process will take and when their case will be officially closed. The timeline for closing a bankruptcy case varies depending on several factors, including the type of bankruptcy filed and the specific circumstances of the case. In this article, we will explore the different types of bankruptcy and delve into the process of closing a bankruptcy case.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a common form of bankruptcy that involves the liquidation of assets to repay creditors. In most cases, the discharge of debts occurs relatively quickly, typically within a few months after filing. However, the closing of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case may take longer.

After the discharge, the case is not automatically closed. The bankruptcy trustee must complete several administrative tasks, such as reviewing any remaining assets, distributing funds to creditors, and ensuring that all necessary paperwork is filed. This process can take several months, and the case is typically closed once these tasks are completed.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a reorganization bankruptcy that allows individuals to create a repayment plan to pay off their debts over a period of three to five years. Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the case is not closed immediately after the discharge.

In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the case remains open for the duration of the repayment plan. Once the plan is successfully completed, which includes making all required payments, the court will issue a discharge order. However, the case is not closed until the bankruptcy trustee has reviewed the case, ensured all payments were made, and filed the necessary paperwork. This process can take several months, and the case is closed once these tasks are completed.

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is primarily used by businesses but can also be filed by individuals with substantial debt. It is a complex process that involves the reorganization of debts to allow the debtor to continue operating while repaying creditors.

The timeline for closing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case can vary significantly. It depends on the size and complexity of the debtor’s financial affairs, the cooperation of creditors, and the court’s schedule. In some cases, the process can take several years. The case is typically closed once the debtor has successfully completed the reorganization plan, made all required payments, and obtained court approval.

Closing a Bankruptcy Case

To close a bankruptcy case, the bankruptcy trustee must ensure that all necessary tasks have been completed. These tasks may include:

1. Reviewing the debtor’s financial information and ensuring compliance with bankruptcy laws.
2. Distributing funds to creditors according to the bankruptcy plan.
3. Resolving any outstanding issues or disputes.
4. Filing the necessary paperwork with the court.

Once these tasks are completed, the bankruptcy trustee will file a motion to close the case. The court will review the motion and, if everything is in order, issue an order closing the case. It is important to note that the court has the final authority to close a bankruptcy case.


The length of time it takes to close a bankruptcy case depends on various factors, including the type of bankruptcy filed and the complexity of the case. Chapter 7 cases typically close a few months after the discharge, while Chapter 13 and Chapter 11 cases may take longer. It is important for individuals considering bankruptcy to understand the process and be prepared for the timeline involved.


– United States Courts:
– Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute:
– Internal Revenue Service: