Chapter 7 Step 6 – Waiting:
After the meeting, the Trustee and the creditors have 80 days to object to your right to a discharge. This does not usually happen, as long as your bankruptcy petition is accurate. Your attorney will handle it if it does happen. Typically, the only extra step may be reaffirmation hearing when you have a loan on your car. For more information on this see our post What Happens At Your Car Loan Reaffirmation Hearing.
Step 8 – Discharge:
If you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the Bankruptcy Court will grant your discharge as long as nobody objects after your meeting of creditors, or if you get the Judge to approve it even if someone objects.
This will usually happen 30 days after the creditor’s deadline to file objections, which is usually 4 months or so from the date you file the bankruptcy. If you have asset that is not exempt, your case will remain open a bit longer. The Trustee will have to sell the nonexempt asset and distribute the proceeds among the creditors. Depending on how long it takes to sell the asset this can mean your case will stay open for several months. However, in most Chapter 7 cases all of your assets are exempt.
Step 9 – Your Fresh Start
The Final Decree has been issued. Now you can move on with your life. You might be surprised how quickly you can recover from a bankruptcy. You probably don’t have to wait years to get a car loan or to even buy a house. But there are steps you should take to rebuild your credit. To make sure you make the most of your fresh start please see our article on How to Rebuild Your Credit.