How to Get Copies of Bankruptcy Discharges

By Jane Meggitt - Updated March 21, 2017
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Once you successfully complete a bankruptcy proceeding, you obtain a discharge that releases you from liability for your debts and prohibits the creditors listed in your bankruptcy from taking further actions against you. It's important to keep a copy of your discharge documents on hand in case a creditor continues attempting to collect a discharged debt. The documentation proves the debt was discharged via the bankruptcy proceeding. If you misplace the discharge documents, you have two major avenues for obtaining copies.

Bankruptcy Court Clerk

You can obtain a copy of your bankruptcy discharge document by contacting the court clerk of the bankruptcy court that ordered the discharge. You must pay fees to the clerk for the actual search and certification of the copies. If the discharge goes back several years and is already archived, the clerk's search may take longer and the fee can be higher. Fee schedules are available online from the bankruptcy court's website as well as at the clerk's office.

Electronic Records

You can also obtain a copy of your bankruptcy discharge document via the government-run Public Access to Electronic Court Records (PAECR) website. You must register with the PACER service and pay a transaction fee for the bankruptcy discharge information that you download. If you don't want to pay via a credit card online, you can request that they mail you a statement.

About the Author

A graduate of New York University, Jane Meggitt writes regularly for various legal blogs. Her work has appeared in LegalZoom, USA Today and many other publications.

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