Select your state


Chapter 7 bankruptcy—no-assets

If all the debtor's assets are exempt or subject to valid liens, the trustee will normally file a no asset report with the court, and there will be no distribution to unsecured creditors. Most chapter 7 cases involving individual debtors are no asset cases. But if the case appears to be an asset case at the outset, unsecured creditors must file their claims with the court within 90 days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors.

A governmental unit, however, has 180 days from the date the case is filed to file a claim. In the typical no asset chapter 7 case, there is no need for creditors to file proofs of claim because there will be no distribution. If the trustee later recovers assets for distribution to unsecured creditors, the Bankruptcy Court will provide notice to creditors and will allow additional time to file proofs of claim.

Although a secured creditor does not need to file a proof of claim in a chapter 7 case to preserve its security interest or lien, there may be other reasons to file a claim. A creditor in a chapter 7 case who has a lien on the debtor's property should consult an attorney for advice.

In Texas, as in other states, Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases are often 'no asset' cases, meaning the debtor does not have any non-exempt assets for the trustee to distribute to unsecured creditors. In such cases, the trustee will file a 'no asset report,' and unsecured creditors typically do not need to file proofs of claim. If the case initially appears to have assets, unsecured creditors have 90 days from the creditors' meeting to file claims, while governmental units have 180 days from the case filing date. If assets are later discovered, the court will notify creditors, who will then have a new deadline to file claims. Secured creditors, those with liens on the debtor's property, do not need to file a proof of claim to maintain their security interests, but there may be other reasons to file. It is advisable for such creditors to seek guidance from an attorney to understand their rights and any necessary actions.

Legal articles related to this topic