How to Obtain Bankruptcy Discharge Records

Updated March 23, 2017

Declaring bankruptcy releases a debtor from certain types of debts, discharging them so that the debtor no longer has personal liability for that debt. Once a bankruptcy discharge is approved, the debtor receives a copy of his bankruptcy discharge records, which he must keep in their personal files. If these original papers are lost, damaged, or destroyed, the debtor can request another copy by using the U.S. Federal Courts PACER system or by contacting the bankruptcy court in the jurisdiction where the bankruptcy was originally filed.

Contact the clerk of the bankruptcy court where the bankruptcy was filed and discharged. You can locate the contact information for the bankruptcy courts in all United States jurisdictions through the U.S. Courts.

Pay the required searching and certifying fees to the bankruptcy court clerk. You typically can pick up the copy of your discharge papers in person or have them mailed to you.

Check to see if you can access your record electronically through the U.S. Federal Courts PACER system. Visit the site, create a free user account, then search for your bankruptcy case. If it is available in the database, you will need to provide payment information (using a credit or debit card) to pay the per-page fee to download a copy of the discharge papers.


If you are not the debtor named in the bankruptcy papers, you may get a copy of any public record bankruptcy papers by contacting the clerk of the bankruptcy court in the jurisdiction where the order was filed.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

A writer and professional lab assistant based in Seattle, Kate Bruscke has been writing professionally about health care and technology since 1998. Her freelance clients include "The Seattle Times,", Reading Local: Seattle, Nordstrom and MSN/Microsoft. Bruscke holds a Master of Fine Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.