Creditors and debtors alike can get hammered by acting after a discharge enters but before a case is closed. The trustee still controls estate property, and the automatic stay still protects estate property. This can be a problem, often in a Chapter 7 context.
A Chapter 7 discharge will usually issue two months after the trustee meeting, but the case can remain open to allow the trustee to continue with an investigation if the trustee does not file a No Asset Report. The clerk will not close the case without such a report.
The trustee controls all estate property as long as the estate remains open, which means that a debtor cannot sell or refinance property. The automatic stay continues to protect estate property, so a creditor cannot repossess or foreclose on property.
Your attorney can file a motion to compel a trustee to abandon one or more assets if the trustee is delaying unreasonably, and you can recover sanctions if a creditor acts against your property while the case is open.
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Last modified: July 28, 2012