In modern times, it is far from unusual for people to background check each other, from potential business partners to romantic prospects. In fact, large chapters of the stories of our lives can often be pieced together from a few choice Google searches.
Whether you have been involved in a bankruptcy yourself or are wondering whether someone you know has been involved in a bankruptcy, you may be wondering to what extent Texas bankruptcy records are part of the searchable universe of information out there. After all, it could help you save face or prevent a troublesome partnership.
Are Bankruptcies Public Record?
In this article, we provide a brief overview of searching and finding bankruptcy public records in Texas.
Are Personal Bankruptcies Public Record?
Yes. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy records and public bankruptcy filings, including schedules with financial information of debtors, are publicly-filed documents (subject to certain permissible redactions). Bankruptcy information is public record.
At the time of filing, each bankruptcy is assigned a case number by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in either the Northern, Eastern, Southern or Western District of Texas. Documents are primarily available for access through the federal Public Access to Electronic Records, or “PACER,” system.
According to PACER, the website includes a “case locator” funding which allows for searching for bankruptcy, as well as federal district and appellate cases. PACER requires registration for all users, which includes providing valid name, address, contact information, and billing information. The site charges users access at the rate of $.10 per page.
Beyond PACER, companies called Justia, BK Data Marketing, and Filings also offer access to Texas Bankruptcy records in all four district courts, though these resources are potentially less comprehensive and up-to-date than PACER.
For older bankruptcy cases before the 1990s, it may be necessary to contact or to have your lawyer contact the clerk of the Bankruptcy Court to figure out how to find bankruptcy records or how to find bankruptcy filings in Texas.
Are Business Bankruptcies Public Record?
Yes. Business bankruptcies filed under Chapter 11 are public records available through PACER’s bankruptcy filing lookup tools.
How Long Is Bankruptcy on Public Record?
While bankruptcy stays on a debtor’s credit report for only seven to ten years, bankruptcy records remain public indefinitely through PACER.
How to Find Out If Someone Filed for Bankruptcy in Texas
The following instructions are about how to find a bankruptcy case. To find out if a person or business filed for bankruptcy in Texas, to view bankruptcy filings, or to check the status of your own bankruptcy, sign up for a PACER account and search by the name of the debtor or the case number, if known.
As stated on the federal government’s PACER website, PACER “is an electronic public access service that allows users to obtain case and docket information from federal appellate, district and bankruptcy courts, and the PACER Case Locator via the Internet. PACER is provided by the federal Judiciary in keeping with its commitment to providing public access to court information via a centralized service.”
The Law Offices of Kretzer and Volberding P.C. Can Help Throughout Your Bankruptcy Case
To navigate bankruptcy and to access records through the PACER system, it is invaluable to have a lawyer with experience on bankruptcy in Texas and who has the right knowledge and resources to help you. For help from the Houston bankruptcy lawyers at the Law Offices of Kretzer and Volberding P.C., contact us online today.