How long does bankruptcy last?


If you comply with your bankruptcy terms, you will be automatically freed from bankruptcy (known as discharged) after a maximum of 12 months from the date of your bankruptcy order.

All restrictions in connection with your bankruptcy will be removed. However, you have a duty to continue to assist your trustee if required.

Proof of discharge

Discharge is usually automatic and you won't be sent a letter.

To get proof of discharge you can:

  • ask the trustee for a confirmation letter
  • ask the OR for a confirmation letter
  • ask the Court for a Certificate of Discharge (fee applies)

Ending bankruptcy early

The Court may cancel your bankruptcy order and discharge you at any time if:

  • all debts, fees and expenses relating to your bankruptcy have been paid in full
  • the High Court decides the bankruptcy order should not have been made

Arrest of discharge

If you have not carried out your duties as a bankrupt the Official Receiver may apply to the High Court for your discharge to be postponed.

If the High Court agrees, your bankruptcy will only end when the suspension has been lifted.

Your credit rating

Credit rating agencies will not be notified of your discharge. You should send them a copy of an official document detailing your discharge.

Debts after bankruptcy

Bankruptcy deals with your debts on the date when the bankruptcy order is made. If you incur new debts this could result in:

  • a further bankruptcy order
  • prosecution if, when you incurred the debts, you did not disclose that you were bankrupt
Developed with:
  • Department for the Economy