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Can I Reopen A Closed Bankruptcy Case?

The point of filing bankruptcy is to receive a bankruptcy discharge. The discharge is what makes your debts no longer due and payable, and shortly after your case is discharged the Court Clerk’s office will also make an entry on the docket that your case is closed. The closing of a case is an administrative function, but until that happens the Trustee assigned to your case does retain an interest in the property of the estate (unless that interest has been abandoned, either by order or by operation of law). This might sound a bit confusing, but that is mostly because it is a lot of legal terminology. The bottom line is that the closing of a case is the final act that takes place, and this is the time you can consider that your case has come to a final conclusion.

That said, there might be situations that arise that put you in need of further relief from the Court. For example, if you accidently left off a creditor from your case, or you wanted to reaffirm a debt but did not have the chance to do so during your case, you might want the Court to allow you to do those things after the case is closed. So, the question becomes “can I reopen a closed bankruptcy case?”. The answer is yes, but only for certain things, such as:

• The administration of some of your debts that were not handled in the case.
• To avoid a lien that was not avoided during your case.
• To correct a mistake on any of the bankruptcy documents you filed.
• To dispose of a dispute regarding the order of discharge.

In order to have a case reopened you have to file a motion asking the Court to allow the matter to be reopened. And, the debtor is not the only entity that can make this request. It is possible for a lender or even the trustee to ask that a case be reopened. While this is rare, it does happen and if it happens to you, you should immediately talk with your bankruptcy attorney about your next step. If you have a need to reopen your case, or if someone else is asking that your bankruptcy be reopened, call us for help.

For more information about how to manage debt, contact us at We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you.

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