3 minute read

I had my 341 meeting. Now what? (Updated 2020)

Upsolve is a nonprofit tool that helps you file bankruptcy for free. Think TurboTax for bankruptcy. Get free education, customer support, and community. Featured in Forbes 4x and funded by institutions like Harvard University so we'll never ask you for a credit card. Explore our free tool


In a Nutshell

In the vast majority of Chapter 7 cases filed by consumers, not much will happen after the 341 meeting is concluded. In fact, in the time between your 341 meeting and the discharge, no news is often good news. Nevertheless, protect your own rights by carefully reviewing any correspondence you receive from the court or your trustee during that time.

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer.  
Updated September 23, 2020


First of all, congratulations! You’ve made it through the most stressful parts of your case and are in the home stretch. There are two things left in your case: 

  1. The court has to grant your discharge, and 

  2. The trustee has to complete the administration of your case

These two things happen independent from one another in the typical case. 

Getting your discharge 

If you’ve already taken your financial management course and submitted the certificate of completion to the court, you can sit back and wait for the discharge to be entered. The court will do so about 60 - 90 days after your 341 meeting and mail you a copy. The earliest your discharge can be entered is after the deadline to object to your discharge has passed. You can find this date on your Form 309A under “Deadlines.”

If you’ve moved since filing your case, make sure you update your mailing address with the court and the trustee. Otherwise, you may miss important mail, including your discharge order. 

Since the trustee still has to finish administering your case, getting the discharge is not the same as having your case closed. The discharge is granted independent of the case administration, so you don’t have to wait on the trustee for your fresh start. Remember, you can start rebuilding your creditas soon as your discharge has been entered! 

Case Administration

If your trustee told you that yours is a no-asset case (or that they’d be filing a “No Distribution” report) at the end of your 341 meeting, the trustee is almost done. You still have to keep their office up to date on your mailing address and comply with any requests they have for you (like sending them a copy of your tax return once it’s been filed) but your case is almost over. Once your discharge is entered, the court will close your case, typically within 30 days. 

Unfortunately, the court doesn’t send out official notices when a case is closed. If you’re not sure if your case is still open, call the clerk’s office at the bankruptcy court where you filed your case to ask. 

What if the trustee didn’t say anything like that? 

In some cases, the trustee won’t yet know whether they’ll be treating your case as a no-asset case at your creditors’ meeting. If the trustee asked for more documents or another meeting was scheduled, you’ll need to provide the trustee the documents they requested and attend the meeting unless you receive confirmation that the meeting was canceled.

Otherwise, they will still conclude the meeting (by saying something along the lines of “this concludes the meeting” at the end of it) but they will not be filing a report of no distribution with the court. Instead, they’ll continue working on your case until they know which way to go with it. 

If the trustee determines at any point after your 341 meeting that you don’t have any unprotected property that they could use to pay your creditors, they’ll file the “no distribution” report with the court. If your discharge has already been granted when that happens, the only thing left in the case is for the court to close it.

Asset Cases

If the trustee determines that there are unprotected assets to pay your unsecured creditors, the case administration can take a while to complete. The trustee will send a notice to your creditors letting them know that they can file a proof of claim. Creditors who file a claim before the deadline listed in the notice will receive a distribution from the trustee. This does not mean that you owe them any money or that the debt isn’t discharged. 

Since the case is still open, you still have to keep the court and your trustee up to date on any changes in your mailing address or other contact information. Additionally, you continue to be obligated to assist the trustee in the case administration. This sometimes means sending in additional documents or turning over the non-exempt asset the trustee is selling. It’s possible that the trustee won’t actually need anything from you during this time.

If they do, however, and you ignore their requests or otherwise refuse to cooperate, you can lose your discharge. So, while you’re out enjoying your fresh start, having left your debts in the rearview mirror, make sure to open and read all mail you receive from your trustee and, if you’re not sure if they’re asking you to do something, call their office. 

Conclusion

In the vast majority of Chapter 7 cases filed by consumers, not much will happen after the 341 meeting is concluded. In fact, in the time between your 341 meeting and the discharge, no news is often good news. Nevertheless, protect your own rights by carefully reviewing any correspondence you receive from the court or your trustee during that time. 



Written By:

Attorney Andrea Wimmer

TwitterLinkedIn

Andrea practiced exclusively as a bankruptcy attorney in consumer Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases for more than 10 years before joining Upsolve, first as a contributing writer and editor and ultimately joining the team full time in August 2019. While in private practice, Andrea ha... read more about Attorney Andrea Wimmer

It's easy to get help

Choose one of the options below to get assistance with your bankruptcy:

Free Web App

Take our screener or read our bankruptcy F.A.Q. to see if Upsolve is right for you.

Take Screener
5,448 families have filed with Upsolve! ☆
or

Private Attorney

Get a free bankruptcy evaluation from an independent law firm.

Find Attorney

Bankruptcy Learning Center

Research and understand your options with our articles and guides.

Go to Learning Center →

Already an Upsolve user?

Read Support Articles →

Upsolve is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that started in 2016. Our mission is to help low-income families who cannot afford lawyers file bankruptcy for free, using an online web app. Spun out of Harvard Law School, our team includes lawyers, engineers, and judges. We have world-class funders that include the U.S. government, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and leading foundations. It's one of the greatest civil rights injustices of our time that low-income families can’t access their basic rights when they can’t afford to pay for help. Combining direct services and advocacy, we’re fighting this injustice.

To learn more, read why we started Upsolve in 2016, our reviews from past users, and our press coverage from places like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Close

Considering Bankruptcy?

Try our 100% free tool that thousands of low-income families across the country have used to file bankruptcy themselves. We are funded by Harvard University, will never ask you for a credit card, and you can stop at any time.

File Bankruptcy for Free