Can a bankruptcy be closed if money is still owing?
My trustee closed my account with $800 owing to it. I did not know. Later they sent me a letter saying I was clear and here’s $500 extra we had of yours. Now they are saying my account owes $800 but to open the file for me to pay it and get clearance I have to pay $1000, then the $800. They say they sent me a letter but to see it I have to pay the $1000 to open the file. They want the money in full too. So I cannot get cleared of my bankruptcy that was started 10 years ago. Is what they have done legal? Can they close my account with money owing then charge me $1000 to re-open it?
What they are doing is correct. Trustees are obligated to close files in a timely manner (usually within 18 months after all necessary work has been completed).
If the person has not been discharged when the file has been closed, then he will remain an undischarged bankrupt and creditors can pursue him for collection just as though he was never in bankruptcy.
If you had completed all your duties, including paying any money due on time, you would have been discharged in a timely manner.
Since you did not, your choices are to retain a lawyer to seek your discharge or to do it yourself or you can do what the trustee suggests.
Many trustees will not reopen files for an undischarged bankrupt, so you are fortunate the trustee will reopen your file.
It will be quicker and cheaper if you take advantage of the trustee’s offer.