Discharge from bankruptcy
Produced in partnership with David Nicholls of Landmark Chambers
Discharge from bankruptcy

The following Restructuring & Insolvency guidance note Produced in partnership with David Nicholls of Landmark Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Discharge from bankruptcy

At the heart of the bankruptcy legislation is the concept of a bankrupt surrendering their estate for the benefit of creditors in return for protection from the claims of those creditors.

The effect of discharge is set out in section 281 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (IA 1986). Discharge releases the bankrupt from all the bankruptcy debts.

A bankruptcy debt includes any debt or liability to which the bankrupt is subject when the bankruptcy order is made or to which the bankrupt becomes subject after that date as a result of an obligation entered into before the bankruptcy order is made, as well as any interest on those debts. This may, for example, include any unsecured guarantees entered into by the bankrupt prior to the bankruptcy order being made, even where the principal debtor is not in default of its obligations.

In addition, a number of disabilities imposed on undischarged bankrupts are lifted. Accordingly, after discharge, a bankrupt may, amongst other things, be a director of a company, be an insolvency practitioner, and may act as a receiver and manager of a property on behalf of a debenture holder.

A discharged bankrupt may also freely obtain credit. Another benefit is that any ‘after-acquired property’ which is acquired by the bankrupt after discharge cannot be claimed by the trustee in bankruptcy (trustee) under IA 1986,