What Happens After a Chapter 7 Discharge?

What Happens After a Chapter 7 Discharge?

So you have filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy and made it to the discharge portion of your case. First and foremost, congratulations! Now that you are discharged, this essentially means that your case is over and you can begin your path down a fresh start. Read on to find out more about how to make the most out of your benefits of the fresh start in both the short term and the long term.


For most people filing for bankruptcy, a discharge is the end of their case. The trustees will issue what is known as a “Final Report” and the court will issue a final decree declaring the bankruptcy over. In some circumstances, the trustee may need to liquidate property to conclude litigation, however these instances are rarer. In any event, the end of litigation is what is commonly known as discharge.

Short Term Steps

There are some extremely practical steps you should take to succeed in the short term after your discharge. First off you want to be sure to gather all of your documents pertaining to the bankruptcy, such as the petition and schedules, filed amendments, certificates of completion from your debtor education, and most importantly your discharge letter. Keep all of these together in a safe place in case old debts happen to pop up in the future or if you are applying for more credit later on. Next, you will want to get a copy of your credit report to ensure that all the information presented is accurate. Most notably, you will want to make sure that any debts that were discharged in your case are now showing as nothing owed. Finally, you will want to set up a budget plan. Make sure it is based upon your current income and regular expenses. The key is to live below your means and work on rebuilding your credit as soon as possible. 

Long Term Steps

Firstly, you should make a plan to resolve any debts that were not dealt with in the bankruptcy case. These instances often include child support, alimony, student loans or debts incurred due to taxes. With all of your other debts taken care of through the bankruptcy now is a good time to work on those that could not be removed. Call to set up payment plans and get yourself on a regular schedule. Additionally now is a great time to think about rebuilding your credit. You might be thinking I just got out of debt. Why should I go back into it now? But rebuilding your credit can put you on the fast track to leaving bankruptcy behind you. Start small and take your time. Think secured credit cards and timely payments. These small steps could help you recover faster than you think.


Going through a chapter 7 bankruptcy and making it to discharge is a major accomplishment. Cheers to getting your finances under control! With this clean slate, you can begin to establish your financial health with good habits and avoid major difficulties in the future. In time you can also improve your creditworthiness when it comes to making big purchases. A discharge is not the end, and for many, it is only the beginning of a healthy financial future.

Our Northeast Ohio Bankruptcy Attorneys proudly serve the Akron, Canton, Wooster, and New Philadelphia communities. Give us a call at 234-678-0626 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation to see what is best for your individual situation.

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