In Search of Bankruptcy Records
Bankruptcy is a major disruption in anybody’s life. While you probably know somebody who has gone through bankruptcy before, you’ve likely never imagined that it would happen to you. The fact is that bankruptcy can become a very real option for many people due to a variety of factors including health issues, small business problems or other economic factors. When this happens it’s important to maintain your bankruptcy records for future reference.
Bankruptcy can take a toll on your life and impact your credit, but most people are able to rebuild again within a few years. However, as you begin to put your bankruptcy behind you, you may find that keeping track of those old records is difficult. You may need them for tax purposes, legal cases with your business and for any number of reasons though.
If you’re looking for bankruptcy records for yourself, a family member or even a potential employee, there are ways to find them. Use this guide to learn more about finding bankruptcy records as quickly as possible. Another great resource is to the bankruptcy basics offered by the US Courts, they offer resources about the bankruptcy process, laws and how to file for bankruptcy.
Are you searching for past bankruptcy records? Knowing where to start can be very tricky for a lot of people. Below are are some of the ways you can begin to look for bankruptcy records.
How to Find Bankruptcy Records
- Use the PACER system to locate bankruptcy records online. You can request virtual records online for a fee through PACER. You can also request paper records that are older than 1999 since they have not been updated digitally.
- Use a third-party site to source bankruptcy records. These sites are simple, fast and effective for finding information about bankruptcy cases. While these records are not verified, they can give you information very quickly. You can also use third-party sites for tax lien searches and judgment liens as well.
- Consider hiring an attorney to find old or out of state records. These can be harder to locate. However, you should use the PACER system first if you do not have a lawyer on retainer or you aren’t dealing with a case currently and you need timely records.
What Does Bankruptcy Mean?
Bankruptcy, in the simplest possible terms, is what happens when a person or business claims that they can no longer meet their debts or make repayments. Single individuals, couples filing jointly and businesses of every size can file for bankruptcy when they can’t repay their debts.
For the individual or businesses, declaring bankruptcy allows for a fresh start without past debts looming overhead. While bankruptcy cases are handled by federal courts, most individuals or families with debt will find that declaring bankruptcy is a simple process if they are truly swamped by debt.
Of course, declaring bankruptcy is not a get out of jail free card and there are repercussions that will impact both individuals and businesses. Still, for many, the fresh start that bankruptcy provides is well worth the penalty.
Different Types of Bankruptcy
It’s important to note that there are two common types of bankruptcy that most people should be aware of. Those two types are chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy. Here are some of the main differences:
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy is typically associated with a fresh start for individuals or couples. Typically, chapter 7 bankruptcy is used for medical bills, credit card balances, personal loans and similar types of debt. Many people filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy can keep basic possessions and some equity in a vehicle.
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This is typically reserved for high-income individuals. This type of bankruptcy works to help form a plan to repay debts over three to five years. This can be helpful for individuals swamped with an un-payable debt now. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often used to help high wage earning individuals catch up on home or car payments without other debts getting in the way.
How Does Bankruptcy Affect Me Financially?
A bankruptcy can be confusing, but in all cases, it means that you’re claiming that you can’t repay your debts. When declaring bankruptcy, you may need to give up some of your more valuable assets to the court as a form of repayment. Getting credit will also be very difficult after filing bankruptcy for a few years.
However, depending on the type of bankruptcy you file, you may be able to keep belongings like your home and car. You’ll likely also be able to keep some basics like home furnishings.
How Long Do Bankruptcies Stay on Your Record?
Bankruptcy can put a wrench in your financial life, but it doesn’t have to ruin your future forever. That’s because a bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for 10 years. That’s why bankruptcy should always be considered seriously before filing.
Finding bankruptcy records isn’t difficult, and with this guide, you should be able to find anything you need. That way you can prepare for a court case, hire the right employee or simply keep track of your past financial information for tax purposes.
File those papers safely once you find your bankruptcy records and you can go back to them whenever you need.