How Do I Get a Copy of My Bankruptcy Discharge Letter today?
Many people want to get a copy of their bankruptcy discharge papers and other bankruptcy paperwork, and there are many reasons why. Perhaps you need your complete bankruptcy file for your records, or you’re looking to apply for a new job and require a copy of your discharge papers. Often a debtor will need access to their bankruptcy records to correct their credit report after their case is discharged.
Whatever the reason may be, we’ve outlined some things that you should know to help you get a copy of your complete bankruptcy file as well as your bankruptcy discharge order. It is important to keep a copy of your bankruptcy case.
Talk to an experienced attorney for legal advice post-discharge.
Getting legal advice from an experienced bankruptcy attorney is always important. In addition, they can review your case file if questions arise after discharge. A bankruptcy lawyer can help you get bankruptcy records for you records and future use.
A complete bankruptcy file includes a petition and schedules and other related Court notices. Having a copy of your bankruptcy records can be very helpful in the event you get sued on a debt that should be discharged or need to dispute a discharged debt with the credit reporting agencies.
Table of contents
- How Do I Get a Copy of My Bankruptcy Discharge Letter today?
- What is a bankruptcy discharge? Should I get bankruptcy records for my file?
- Where can I get a copy of my bankruptcy discharge papers?
- What should I do if I lose my bankruptcy records and need to get bankruptcy records to dispute a debt?
- There are several ways to get a copy of your bankruptcy discharge order.
- Ask the attorney or law firm that filed your case to get you a copy of your bankruptcy discharge and other bankruptcy records
- Contact the Clerk of Court where the bankruptcy case was filed to get your bankruptcy records
- Set up a PACER account to get your bankruptcy records from home
- Obtain Copies from the Federal Records Center
- Online paid services
- Contact a Bankruptcy Attorney to Assist you with all of your bankruptcy needs
What is a bankruptcy discharge? Should I get bankruptcy records for my file?
A bankruptcy discharge order frees the debtor from personal liability for various types of debt. In addition, the bankruptcy discharge order acts as a permanent order prohibiting creditors from attempting any collection action about the discharged debts.
A creditor cannot collect upon a debt when the bankruptcy court discharges it in either a chapter 7 bankruptcy or a chapter 13 bankruptcy. For this reason it is important to keep a copy of your bankruptcy discharge. If you lost or misplaced your copy you should try to get a copy of your bankruptcy records.
Importance for Credit Reporting Agency Requirements
Credit reporting agencies maintain credit reports on individuals. Often when there are errors on a credit report. Credit reporting agency requirements often require a copy of the discharge to make necessary changes.
Treatment of Unsecured Debts
When the bankruptcy court issues a discharge order for unsecured debt, most if not all credit card debt, medical debt, and other unsecured forms of debt can no longer be collected upon by your creditors.
It is illegal for a creditor to make any attempt to collect on a discharged debt.
A debtor will want to maintain proof of their bankruptcy filing if a credit seeks to collect on an unsecured debt after the bankruptcy is completed.
Your bankruptcy records will include all of the creditors you owed money to. It will also contain a copy of your discharge order.
Treatment of Secured Debts
Secured creditors are treated differently after a discharge order is issued. A secured creditor maintains a lien on the property after the bankruptcy filing is completed and the case discharged.
Common forms of secured debt include a car loan and debts held by mortgage companies.
The valid lien on properties that a bankruptcy filing has not cleared in this matter will remain effective after bankruptcy litigation. A secured creditor must enforce the lien to recover the possession of the property subject to the lien.
Again, you want to maintain a copy of your bankruptcy records if you have an issue with a secured creditor seeking to collect from you after receiving a discharge order.
Treatment of Priority Debts
A priority debt is a debt that generally survives bankruptcy. Common forms of priority debt include child support, certain forms of taxes, and other debts the US Bankruptcy Code provides for special treatment.
As with the other forms of debt, maintaining a copy of your bankruptcy records can be helpful if you need proof of your bankruptcy court records. Discharged debts that are priority in nature have special treatment under the bankruptcy code.
Where can I get a copy of my bankruptcy discharge papers?
Your bankruptcy discharge order gives you the confirmation that your case is now closed and all of the debts included are non-enforceable. As a result, creditors listed in the bankruptcy petition can no longer contact you about your debts or file an action against you for collection.
You must store all of these bankruptcy documents because of your requirements to provide them if you apply for an undocumented loan later. But if you lost the discharge paperwork or any other bankruptcy paperwork, you could still receive a copy in case of emergency. That is still available.
What should I do if I lose my bankruptcy records and need to get bankruptcy records to dispute a debt?
You must keep your bankruptcy discharge order in a safe place because life happens, and a bankruptcy discharge order and other bankruptcy records can get lost. Therefore, a Debtor should always maintain a copy of their bankruptcy court records.
Years after you file your petition, you may need to see what creditors were included in your filing. You may also need a copy of your discharge order to prove your case was completed.
There are several ways to get a copy of your bankruptcy discharge order.
There are several ways to get a copy of your bankruptcy discharge order and related paperwork. The easiest way would be to reach out to the attorney or law firm that filed your bankruptcy petition. Also, you can contact the clerk of courts for the bankruptcy court where you filed your case. Another way is to open a PACER account. A PACER account will give you access to electronic court records filed in your case.
Ask the attorney or law firm that filed your case to get you a copy of your bankruptcy discharge and other bankruptcy records
Many attorneys keep their client’s bankruptcy records for several years before shredding them. So there’s a good chance your lawyer will still have a copy in their file. Often an attorney will provide a copy for free for existing clients.
If they cannot locate the document, they may use an electronic terminal to print out the item. Most bankruptcy lawyers charge a nominal fee for these records.
All bankruptcy attorneys have access to PACER and can print any bankruptcy petition and discharge. However there is a fee they are charged for use of this service.
Attorney charges to get bankruptcy court records
If you’re worried about how much it’ll cost to get your attorney to retrieve your records, inquire before you hire someone! There’s a good chance that they will perform this service for free.
However, to avoid any unwelcome surprises, it is a good idea to find out in advance what fees will be charged. If it is more than you are willing to pay, explore your other options for getting a copy of the bankruptcy discharge order.
Contact the Clerk of Court where the bankruptcy case was filed to get your bankruptcy records
The most efficient way to request a copy of your bankruptcy papers is in the courthouse, where your case was filed. Many courthouses offer free terminal access to the public. From these free terminals it is possible to print a copy of your bankruptcy petition and schedules.
Some courts allow you to search online for free, while others charge fees for searches. In addition, copies of a bankruptcy case file are sometimes charged per page. You can order bankruptcy records by contacting the clerk’s office.
If many years have passed since your bankruptcy filing, the case could have been archived. If so, the costs might be slightly higher. A copy of the bankruptcy records may require an application fee.
Set up a PACER account to get your bankruptcy records from home
Another option is to set up a PACER account. It is an electronic document storage service maintained by the federal government. After you set up an account, you can access pacer from your home computer.
PACER or Public Access to Court Electronic Documents is an electronic database accessible to the public. PACER charges a fee depending upon the way many users use the service. If you spend less than $15 within three months, your account is free to use.
For additional information, visit the PACER website (https://www.pacer.uscourts.gov) for instructions on how to sign up for PACER and the costs of downloading court documents.
Obtain Copies from the Federal Records Center
On April 1, 2004, this Court began using electronic filing. Therefore, cases filed before that date may be found at the National Archives Federal Records Center (FRC). Cases filed before April 1, 2004, often must be searched using this method given their age.
The National Archives does not keep all bankruptcy cases. When you submit a request for records from the FRC, you will be informed if the case is still available.
Fill out form NAFT 90 for older cases
The FRC uses the form NAFT 90 to request bankruptcy case papers. The form requires a set of digits to identify the location of a case. The FRC cannot find files without this data. This information must be obtained from the Bankruptcy Clerk’s Office, where the case was filed to be tracked.
Your request to the Court must include:
- A debtor’s complete name at the time of filing.
- The last four digits of the debtor’s Social Security number.
- The case number.
- An approximation of when the bankruptcy petition was filed.
Online paid services
Several online services can assist you in finding your bankruptcy records for a fee. These are often expensive services. In addition, these services are often not good, or you may never have your document. Try to avoid such services.
It is better first to try talking to the bankruptcy lawyer that filed your case. If there are not available, set up a PACER account online or reach out to the Court.
Contact a Bankruptcy Attorney to Assist you with all of your bankruptcy needs
A bankruptcy attorney can be of great assistance in providing legal advice to assist you with your bankruptcy needs. Bruce Law Firm has attorneys that specialize in this area of law. As Michigan bankruptcy attorneys we have access to PACER and can assist you. We can get bankruptcy records for any person who filed in the State of Michigan.
Bruce Law Firm offers a free consultation to review your personal information and provide the assistance you need. If you beed help getting a copy of your bankruptcy discharge or other bankruptcy documents call our office for assistance. If you are thinking about filing bankruptcy we offer a free consultation to review your case. Call today.