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Bankruptcy records are public documents. You are not covered by any privacy regulations, federal or state. If someone wants to learn if you have previously been discharged, they can search bankruptcy filings to retrieve that information. They can use the federal judiciary's service, PACER, the National Archives or any number of websites that allow anyone to retrieve all public information surrounding personal or corporate public bankruptcy records for a reasonable fee ($6.00-$15.00). No sensitive personal information will be released to 3rd parties but they will learn the particulars regarding your bankruptcy case.
Recent bankruptcy filings for personal Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 actions cannot widely be accessed via most related websites. There is one way that might help. If you are interested in learning of recent filings in a particular state or area in a larger state, you can search the major newspaper(s) online in your subject area. They normally publish recent filings (at least the corporate filings) in the business section, often in the Saturday or Sunday editions. These published records should only be around one to two months old. If you are looking for recent bankruptcy filings for companies online, try bankruptcydata.com for some good information .
Through the U.S. National Archives website, you can order bankruptcy records online by state, but you will need some pertinent information. The physical records are kept at 14 Regional Records Service Facilities around the U.S. You can visit these locations and obtain copies of bankruptcy records for a modest fee. There are also a number of websites, in addition to the federal judiciary's PACER database, that will provide bankruptcy records for fees between $6.00 and $15.00 per file.
If you want to search for and/or receive bankruptcy records, there are a few ways to search for the information. Knowing the bankruptcy case number, assigned by the bankruptcy court, will always get you the data you want from any regular source. Many databases will allow you to just enter the name of the individual or company to retrieve these records. You should know the jurisdiction in which the petition was filed. If you are in driving distance of one of the 14 regional records service facilities of the National Archives, you can retrieve hard copy bankruptcy records of all cases handled in the jurisdictions related to that office.
Bankruptcy records are quite easy to obtain. One of the simplest sources is the Bankruptcy Voice Case Information System (VCIS), which allows you to call (free) this bankruptcy court automated phone line with a case number, name or social security number to receive the related bankruptcy record data. Should you need more detailed information, you could access (for a charge) the federal bankruptcy court's electronic service center called PACER. This database will give you appellate court records also. To use this service go to www.pacer.psc.uscourts.gov. To easily access recent bankruptcy filings by businesses you could try bankruptcydata.com.
Bankruptcy records are reported for 10 years on a person's credit file. Bankruptcy information will be highlighted usually in a special area. Pertinent data will be summarized in the public records section of a credit report, which will also show outstanding or satisfied tax liens, mechanics liens, child support delinquencies, judgments, or other public record issues. In addition to the filing date, your file will show your assets and liabilities, the value of the exemptions you took, whether it was a personal or business-related bankruptcy, and if it was a joint or individual filing. There is currently no provision for the 10 year recording period to be waived.