A bankruptcy trustee is charged with the liquidation of the non-exempt assets of a debtor. If the trustee finds assets, he will give notice to creditors and provide a distribution schedule. Similarly, if the trustee finds no assets, he will also give notice to creditors. These notices issued by the trustee are called the "Notice of Assets and to File Claim" and the "Notice of No Distribution," respectively.
A bankruptcy trustee may issue a Notice of Assets and to File Claim or a Notice of No Distribution in varying time frames depending upon the circumstances of the case. However, these reports will not be issued at least until the Meeting of Creditors occurs. During the meeting, the trustee will question the debtor about his assets. In the majority of cases, the trustee will issue the report a few days to a week after the Meeting of Creditors. If the debtor has complex assets and an investigation is necessary, the trustee may not issue a report for several months.
Notice of Assets and to File Claim
The report entitled "Notice of Assets and to File Claim," or a similarly named document, allows the bankruptcy trustee to inform creditors that he has found assets that he will distribute. The report also establishes a deadline to file a claim with the bankruptcy court. The claim, also known as a proof of claim, is a document which describes the debt owed to each creditor. If a claim is not filed, the creditor will not receive a distribution from the trustee.
Notice of No Distribution
As the name suggests, the Notice of No Distribution is a report that the trustee issues to give notice to creditors that he has found no assets to distribute. In the case of no assets, creditors need not file a proof of claim with the court. It is possible, however, that the trustee will later find hidden assets of the debtor while the bankruptcy case is still open. In such a case, the trustee will revise his report and issue a Notice of Assets and to File Claim.
If you believe that the trustee's report regarding the assets of the debtor is incorrect, you should bring it to the trustee's attention. For example, the trustee may have issued a Notice of No Distribution, but you are aware that the debtor owns a large bank account in Switzerland. In such a case, the trustee will retract his report and investigate the allegations. The trustee will issue a substitute report if he discovers non-exempt assets to liquidate.