Bankruptcy discharge papers and where to find them is a common question especially after you have completed your bankruptcy case.
After you have gone through the process of filing for bankruptcy, attending your creditor meeting hearing, and followed all other instructions given to you by your attorney, the trustee, and the court, your case will eventually be discharged and will receive your bankruptcy discharge papers. At this point, you will receive a document stating that your case has been discharged. This means that you are released from fulfilling those debt obligations, and the creditors can no longer take collection measures against you. As you’ve probably guessed, the bankruptcy discharge papers are pretty much the main goal of your bankruptcy case. It is important to keep track of this Notice of Discharge. Often it is required when applying for mortgages or loans, and occasionally creditors may illegally persist in trying to contact you, so this document can be sent to them as proof that they cannot pursue the debt any longer.
Where do you obtain these documents? If your bankruptcy case has been discharged, you actually already have received them directly from the court. If you can’t find them, try looking again through all of the papers you have that relate to your bankruptcy case. Many times we have clients calling our office asking for a copy of the discharge papers, not because they can’t find them, but because they haven’t actually taken the time to really look. When they realize that they will be charged a fee to receive another copy, they suddenly find the motivation to look again, and often are able to find the document. However, we know that sometimes life happens and papers truly are misplaced.
Start by contacting the clerk of the court where your case was filed.
The first place to check when you need a copy of your bankruptcy discharge papers is with the Clerk of the Court where your case was filed. Some courts will allow you to search the record online for free, while others charge a fee for searches. If you need copies of the document, there will be a fee as well. Copies of the document are often a charge per page. If it has been many years, the case may have been archived, so additional fees may apply.
Public Access to Court Records (PACER) is an electronic public access service that provides information on cases filed in federal court. In order to search the database, you must register with PACER, which is free. However, there are fees depending on how often you use the service. There is normally a ten cent per page retrieval fee. You may need your case number in order to search the database.