How to See If a Bankruptcy Has Been Discharged

By Mary Jane Freeman

When a person applies for a new loan or refinancing after bankruptcy, it is common for some lenders to want proof of discharge. This can easily be established with bankruptcy records. You may obtain a copy from the bankruptcy court, the attorney in the case, or online.

Bankruptcy Process and Discharge

When individual debtors file for bankruptcy, their debts are discharged at the conclusion of their bankruptcy case. In Chapter 7 cases, a debtor's non-exempt assets are seized, and the proceeds are used to pay creditors. This is a short process lasting usually a few months, after which any remaining unpaid debts are discharged and the debtor is no longer legally responsible for them. In Chapter 13 cases, a debtor pays his debts with a repayment plan that lasts three to five years. As with Chapter 7, any unpaid debts left behind are discharged.

Confirming Discharge

The most common way to determine if a bankruptcy has been discharged is by obtaining a copy of the bankruptcy case file. Copies of this document may be obtained by contacting the bankruptcy court that handled the case or the bankruptcy attorney involved. Payment of a small fee may be required. These records can also be ordered online through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) database for a minimal charge.

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How Can I Determine the Date of My Bankruptcy Discharge?



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