Discharge from bankruptcy

Discharge from bankruptcy

Bankruptcy commences on the day the bankruptcy order is made and it continues until the bankrupt is discharged.  However, the trustee may continue to administer the bankruptcy estate, including carrying out investigations, dealing with the assets and paying any sums received to creditors.

When will I be discharged from bankruptcy?

A bankrupt will be automatically discharged at the end of one year from the commencement of bankruptcy unless one of the following occurs:

  • The Official Receiver may file at court and serve on creditors a notice specifying that in his opinion an investigation into the conduct and affairs of the bankrupt is unnecessary, or has been concluded and that his intention is to file a notice of discharge. A creditor served with such a notice can object to this discharge within 28 days and must set out the grounds of the objection. The Official Receiver can either accept the objection and not file the notice of discharge or allow time for the creditor to appeal to the court.
  • The trustee in bankruptcy or the Official Receiver can apply to the court for a suspension of the one year automatic discharge period. The court’s powers to extend the time for discharge will only be exercised where the bankrupt has failed to fulfil his obligations imposed under statute. This might be the case if the bankrupt had not disclosed the full extent of his or her assets or failed to co-operate with trustee’s investigation. The court will fix a hearing date for the application and the bankrupt must be served with this and the Official Receiver’s report or the trustee’s witness statement in support at least 21 days before the hearing date. The bankrupt may oppose the application at the hearing and should file and serve a witness statement setting out the evidence in opposition to this. If an order is made suspending the discharge, the trustee may apply to the court at any time for an order lifting the suspension and will need to serve the application and evidence in support on the trustee in bankruptcy or the Official Receiver.

Once discharged, the bankrupt is entitled to apply to the court for a certificate of discharge. The Secretary of State is required to delete information relating to the bankruptcy from the Insolvency Register 3 months after discharge.

Effect of discharge

The discharge does not automatically re-vest the bankrupt’s assets in him or her and these remain in the bankrupt estate, although there are special provisions relating to the re-vesting of the bankrupt’s home – What happens to the bankrupt’s home.

There are certain debts which are not released by the discharge.  These include:

  • Fines for a criminal offence
  • Student loans
  • A debt arising under any order in family proceedings.
Taking legal advice

Our solicitors can advise on issues arising in connection with the discharge from bankruptcy. We can also advise on the continuing effects of bankruptcy after discharge including the re-vesting of the bankrupt’s home and purchase of other assets from the trustee.

For more information proceed to Annulment from bankruptcy