What Happens If My Bankruptcy Discharge Is Revoked?

If you commit fraud or don't follow bankruptcy rules, the court can revoke your bankruptcy discharge and your debts won't be wiped out.

Most debtors file for bankruptcy to eliminate their debts and obtain a fresh financial start. Your bankruptcy discharge wipes out your liability for most types of debt. But if you’re not completely honest in your bankruptcy papers or fail to follow all the rules, the court can revoke your discharge even after closing your case. Read on to learn more about what happens if the court revokes your bankruptcy discharge.

(For more information on how a bankruptcy discharge affects particular types of debt, see Debt Management: The Bankruptcy Discharge.)

Who Can Ask the Bankruptcy Court to Revoke Your Discharge?

In general, only an interested party—someone who has a stake in the outcome—can ask the bankruptcy court to revoke your discharge. In most cases, the revocation request will come from:

Reasons for Revoking a Discharge

The grounds an interested party can use to request a revocation will depend on whether you filed for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If you filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee, United States trustee, or your creditors could ask the court to revoke your discharge if you:

  • committed bankruptcy fraud when obtaining your discharge and the fraudulent act wasn’t discovered until after the court granted your discharge
  • didn’t disclose or surrender to the trustee assets that you couldn’t protect with a bankruptcy exemption
  • refused to follow court orders, or
  • made a material misstatement (which you couldn’t explain to the satisfaction of the court) or failed to turn over all necessary documents in a bankruptcy audit.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, an interested party can request the court to revoke your discharge if you:

  • used fraud to obtain your discharge, and
  • the party requesting revocation didn’t know about the fraud until after the court already granted the discharge.

(For more information, read When the Bankruptcy Trustee Suspects Fraud.)

Time Limits for Revoking a Discharge

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, an interested party must request a revocation based on fraud within one year after the court grants the discharge, or, if the debtor failed to report assets that were property of the estate or disobeyed court orders, within one year of the closing of the case, whichever is later. (Although a discharge is usually received early in the case, the matter might remain open for a considerable time to allow for the selling of assets.)

In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, an interested party must request a discharge revocation within one year after the court grants the discharge.

Consequences of a Revoked Discharge

If the court revokes your bankruptcy discharge, you’ll remain liable for any previously discharged debts. Also, if you committed fraud or otherwise abused the bankruptcy system, you might have to pay fines, forfeit assets, or face criminal prosecution.

Talk to a Bankruptcy Lawyer

Need professional help? Start here.

How it Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you
NEED PROFESSIONAL HELP ?

Get debt relief now.

We've helped 205 clients find attorneys today.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you