How to Get Proof of a Discharged Bankruptcy

By Heather Frances J.D.

The bankruptcy discharge is typically one of the most helpful aspects of a bankruptcy case, since it legally erases the debtor's liability to pay certain debts. Debtors may need copies of the court-issued discharge to prove lack of liability to creditors even long after the bankruptcy case is closed, so copies are available from the bankruptcy court where the discharge was issued.

Copies Available in Court Papers

The bankruptcy court clerk is required to send each debtor a copy of the court's discharge order, along with copies sent to the creditors, trustee and attorneys involved. If the debtor loses this copy, he can request another copy from the court clerk, but the clerk may charge the debtor fees for searching in the court's records, making certified copies and retrieving the case file if it has been archived elsewhere. If it has been archived, it may take longer for the clerk to provide the copies.

Electronic Access

Federal courts, including bankruptcy courts, offer electronic filing for many current cases, so the court's discharge order may be available electronically. The electronic filing system, called PACER, is available to the public in court clerks' offices and online. The debtor must set up an account for access and must pay a fee for each page downloaded from the system.

Get a free, confidential bankruptcy evaluation. Learn More
Get a free, confidential bankruptcy evaluation. Learn More
How to See If a Bankruptcy Has Been Discharged

References

Related articles

What Happens When a Creditor Is Sanctioned in a Bankruptcy Case?

Debtors typically file a bankruptcy case to get relief from creditors and overwhelming debt, and bankruptcy laws provide for an automatic stay that immediately halts all collection efforts by creditors. However, unscrupulous creditors sometimes ignore court orders, both during and after a bankruptcy case. When creditors violate the court’s instructions, the court may sanction them, often forcing them to pay fines as punishment.

Unclaimed Property & Bankruptcy

Following a bankruptcy filing, the court takes steps to ensure that funds are distributed to the rightful person or business. However, certain circumstances can arise whereby distributed funds associated with a bankruptcy are returned to the trustee. If you realize that you are due funds from a bankruptcy case, you can contact the appropriate bankruptcy court to claim your property.

What Does It Mean if a Bankruptcy Is Lifted?

When an individual debtor files for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, creditors must immediately stop their collection efforts. Creditors sometimes may attempt to get around this ban by petitioning the bankruptcy court to "lift" the stay. A bankruptcy lift allows the creditor to continue collection activity, such as garnishing wages or foreclosing on a home, while the bankruptcy case is in progress.

Related articles

How to Find Out if a Bankruptcy Filing Has Been Dismissed in Alabama

A dismissal ends your bankruptcy case and can have severe consequences. For example, if your bankruptcy case is ...

How to Find the Date a Bankruptcy Was Discharged

After the conclusion of your bankruptcy case, you will receive a bankruptcy discharge. A bankruptcy discharge signifies ...

How Can I Determine the Date of My Bankruptcy Discharge?

When you apply for credit after completing bankruptcy, such as a home mortgage or car loan, new lenders may want to ...

Can You Go to Jail if You Get Denied a Bankruptcy Discharge?

A bankruptcy court's discharge releases you from the debts included in it. Federal and state laws don't allow you to ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED