Bankruptcy lasts for 12 months – and at the end of this period, you will be discharged. PayPlan explores what this means below and what to do next.
Discharge from bankruptcy – what does this mean?
If your bankruptcy is discharged, this means you are no longer bound by the restrictions of your bankruptcy, your debts are cleared and you can now make a fresh start financially.
You may still have to deal with the sale of your property after discharge though – we have more information about this here – but, for now, it means your bankruptcy is over and you are debt free.
When does a bankruptcy get discharged?
Your bankruptcy will be discharged after 12 months – if there have been no delays with information and you have cooperated with the Official Receiver.
However, your bankruptcy discharge could be delayed if the Official Receiver feels you have failed to provide the information they need on time and in full. If this is the case, they can ask the court for a suspension of discharge until they have everything they need.
A delay of your bankruptcy discharge could also occur if you are found to have been dishonest with any information or have attempted to hide assets, such as property or high-value vehicles, that could have been included in your bankruptcy.
In this case, you may be committing bankruptcy fraud, which is an offence. Many people do not understand the restrictions bankruptcy places upon them – we have a guide on what they are here, which we recommend reading if you are considering taking on bankruptcy.
Proof of your discharge from bankruptcy
Your discharge will happen automatically if there have been no issues within the 12 month period. This means often you won’t receive a letter confirming you have been discharged. If you do want proof – and it is a good idea to have this in case creditors chase you later for any reason – this can be obtained by:
- Contacting the Insolvency Service by email to receive a free letter of confirmation.
- Contacting the court which dealt with your bankruptcy and asking for a Certificate of Discharge (this costs £70, which can be paid via cheque or postal order).
How to check if you’ve been discharged from your bankruptcy
If you’re unsure whether you’ve been discharged, check the Insolvency Register for your name. This should provide details of the date your bankruptcy ended, and this information stays on the register for up to three months.
Alternatively, your Official Receiver should be able to confirm the date you will be discharged on. Contact them or their office directly, using the contact details they have provided you.
Will your credit report be updated?
Once your bankruptcy has been discharged, you could send confirmation of this to each of the credit reference agencies – Experian, Equifax and Callcredit – asking that they update your report. This may speed up when your report is updated, with the debts as satisfied.
It’s important to know even though your bankruptcy will be noted as discharged on your credit report it will continue to have a negative effect for quite a long time. It will remain listed on there for six years from the date the bankruptcy was granted. Time will lessen the impact it has, so be patient and wait for your credit rating to improve gradually – our in-depth guide on how to improve your credit rating offers some suggestions how you can perhaps speed this process up.
Even once the listing has come off your credit report, creditors may still ask if you’ve ever been bankrupt and it’s very important that you answer them truthfully.
Before you take on a debt solution such as bankruptcy, it’s important you seek advice and that you are confident it is the best choice for you and your situation. If you want to speak to an expert here at PayPlan about bankruptcy and your options, then get in touch with one of our team today on 0800 316 1833.