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I had my 341 meeting. Now what? (2021 Guide)

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In a Nutshell

The court will grant your bankruptcy discharge 60 - 90 days after the meeting. If the trustee filed a no-asset report, the case will be closed pretty soon after the discharge is entered. Until your case is closed, make sure to keep an eye on any mail from the court or the trustee so you don’t miss anything important.

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer.  
Updated March 25, 2021


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 grants your bankruptcy discharge, and 

  2. The bankruptcy trustee completes their work

In most cases, these two things happen independently. In other words, it’s possible you’ll get your discharge before the trustee finishes up their work. 

How long after the 341 meeting do I get my discharge? 

Your Chapter 7 discharge order will be granted between 60 - 90 days after your 341 meeting. 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 already taken your financial management course (course 2) and submitted the certificate of completion to the court, all you have to do is sit back and wait for the court to send you the discharge order in the mail. If you haven’t taken the course yet, that’s ok, too. Just make sure you take the course and file your certificate after your creditors’ meeting.

Character with stop sign and statement "You won't get your discharge if you don't take the financial management course."

Discharge = Fresh Start, Discharge ≠ Case Closed

The discharge order is what gives you a fresh start by eliminating most or all of your debts. As soon as that’s entered, you can start rebuilding your credit

But, that’s not the same thing as the case being closed. That’s a separate step in the process and happens only after the trustee is done. 

What does this mean for you? 

Mostly that you have to make sure to let the court and your trustee know if you move or change your mailing address. The court and the trustee will continue to send you notices in the mail and it’s important that you receive them. 

What does the trustee do after my 341 meeting? 

That depends on whether you have any nonexempt property. If your trustee told you that you have a no-asset case at the end of your 341 meeting, the trustee is almost done. The only thing left for them to do is to file their Report of No Distribution

The Report of No Distribution lets the court know that that trustee is done with your case. If the trustee files it before your discharge is entered, the court will close your case shortly after sending you the discharge order. 

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 after getting your discharge and the trustee’s report, 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 have to cooperate with the trustee as needed. 

Often, that just means submitting additional documents to the trustee or giving them the non-exempt asset they’re selling. It’s possible that the trustee won’t actually need anything from you during this time.

Why It’s Important Not To Ignore The Trustee

If the trustee needs something from you and you ignore them or otherwise refuse to cooperate with them, 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. 

Let’s Summarize...

In most consumer bankruptcy cases under Chapter 7, not much happens after the 341 meeting is done. It’s actually a good thing not to hear anything from anyone (including your trustee) after the meeting. 

The court will grant your bankruptcy discharge 60 - 90 days after the meeting. If the trustee filed a no-asset report, the case will be closed pretty soon after the discharge is entered. Until your case is closed, make sure to keep an eye on any mail from the court or the trustee so you don’t miss anything important. 

Once the case is closed, you have reached the final peak of your bankruptcy journey!

Person summitting multiple mountains in a row to get to the top.


Written By:

Attorney Andrea Wimmer

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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 as Managing Editor. While in private practice, Andrea handled... read more about Attorney Andrea Wimmer

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