Are Bankruptcy Records Public Information
Yes, court proceedings of bankruptcy cases are public records accessible by members of the public via the appropriate channels, usually provided by the courts. Correspondingly, federal laws subject these records to public review by allowing citizens to inspect and obtain copies from the public agencies that maintain them. Bankruptcy records generally include submitted and court-generated documents in all available formats, including electronic or paper. Provided federal laws do not specifically exempt any information or document from disclosure, the record will be made subject to public review.
Record seekers may also obtain bankruptcy records from third-party websites. These non-governmental data platforms often come with tools that help simplify the search for single or multiple records. However, record availability on third-party sites tends to vary because theyâre independent of government sources. Most third-party sites require some information to process a search. Interested parties may need to provide:
- A bankruptcy case number
- The name of the debtor on record
What Is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy In Washington
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also known as the âwage earnerâs planâ. Individuals who file under this chapter have a regular income and are able to develop a payment plan. This enables them to repay either all the debts they owe or part of them within a 3 to 5 year period. In Chapter 13, payments are made to a standing trustee who distributes the payments to creditors according to the confirmed plans provided. This chapter will allow debtors to keep valuable property like a car or a home that could have been lost to a foreclosure or repossession. These are kept by the debtors if they can make the required payments to the creditors according to the bankruptcy laws.
Washington Western Bankruptcy Court Records
U.S. Bankruptcy Courts
Search online court records for free in Washington Western Bankruptcy Court by case number, case name, party, attorney, judge, docket entry, and more. Filter cases further by date of filing, case type, party type, party representation, and more.
With UniCourt, you can access cases online in Washington Western Bankruptcy, view case summary, check case status, download court documents, as well as track cases and get alerts on new case updates and access U.S. Bankruptcy Courts – Washington Western Bankruptcy cases with Legal Data APIs. UniCourt also allows you to lookup court cases and find latest docket information for all courthouses in U.S. Bankruptcy Courts.
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Us Bankruptcy Court: Western District Of Washington
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How Do I Find Out If My Bankruptcy Case Is Closed In Washington
Typically, when an entity files for bankruptcy in Washington, the court clerk provides them with periodic updates and developments on the case. Per the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, when the court issues a discharge order, the bankruptcy clerk sends a copy of this order to the debtor, the debtor’s attorney, the creditors, and the U.S. trustee in the case. Therefore, when a case is closed, the court clerk will directly inform the entity or their attorney of the case status via mail. If there is a delay in disseminating this information, the concerned party may visit the clerk’s office for more details. Otherwise, they may use the Voice Case Information System to verify the case status.
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What Are Washington Bankruptcy Exemptions
Washington Bankruptcy Exemptions are properties or proceeds from selling property the debtor gets to keep after filing for bankruptcy. The amount and types of property the debtor gets to keep are determined by Federal or State law. The debtor gets to choose between the federal or the state exemptions but is not allowed to customize between both. It is important to choose the best exemptions laws in order to avoid losing property. If a married couple files for bankruptcy together, the exemptions will be doubled.
For a debtor to claim an exemption under Washington law, the debtor must reside in the state of Washington for a 730 day period before filing a bankruptcy petition. If not, the Washington State law where a debtor resides in the state for 180 days preceding the 730 day period will be used. The following are some of the exemptions under Washington State Exemption law:
What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy In Washington
When a debtor files for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Washington, the debtorâs non-exempt property is liquidated or sold and the proceeds are distributed to creditors. It is known as the âfresh startâ type of bankruptcy. For individuals, debtors are allowed to pick certain properties as exempt. In exchange, the debtors get a discharge prohibiting them from paying certain types of debts. Partnerships and corporations do not get discharges. The Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing case usually gets discharged in 3 to 6 months.
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Can A Bankruptcy Be Expunged In Washington
Generally, the federal court system handles bankruptcies according to the U.S. bankruptcy code. This code does not explicitly grant presiding judges the authority to expunge bankruptcy records. Regardless, according to section 105 of the code, they have the blanket authority to issue any order or judgment deemed necessary or relevant to execute the bankruptcy code’s provisions. Additionally, the regulation mandates that the judges protect entities from defamatory issues reflected in the court records. Therefore, if the court judge believes that the only way to fulfill these provisions is by ordering a record to be deleted, then the order of expungement will be permitted. Otherwise, bankruptcy records are public record matters that will remain visible to the public forever, but momentarily on the entity’s credit report.
Under Â§ 605 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, if the court does not order the expungement of a bankruptcy record, it will be deleted automatically from the entity’s credit report after seven years or ten years from the bankruptcy filing date, depending on the chapter filed. Chapter 13 bankruptcy records are deleted seven years from the filing date, while Chapter 7 bankruptcy records are deleted ten years from the filing date.
Serving All Of Pierce County And The Tacoma Areas
BAPCA, or the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, was passed by the federal government and made effective on October 17, 2005. The purpose of the act was to reduce the number of Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings and increase the number of Chapter 13 filings.
This legislation was sought by creditors because Chapter 13 debtors have to partially repay their debts, whereas, with Chapter 7, most debts are not repaid and are discharged.
Critics of BAPCA included consumer advocates, bankruptcy judges and legal scholars who argued that the bills sponsors exaggerated claims of bankruptcy fraud and that a number of BAPCPAs provisions favored the credit card companies who lobbied heavily for passage of the bill.
The passage of BAPCPA resulted in dramatically reduced bankruptcy filings across the nation. In the Western District of Washington, which includes the bankruptcy courts in Tacoma and Seattle, bankruptcy filings went from 35,360 cases filed in 2005 to 8,459 cases filed in 2006.
This decrease was due in large part to public misconceptions about the continued availability of bankruptcy relief, implementation of the new laws in the bankruptcy court system, and increases costs now associated with filing for bankruptcy. There was also a great rush to file for bankruptcy relief in 2005 before the effective date of the new laws.
As the years have passed, bankruptcy filings have increased to pre-BAPCA and historic levels.
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Filing Fee: Waiver Or Installments
General Requirements. Every voluntary petition submitted to the clerk of court forfiling shall be accompanied by one of the following payment options: full payment of the applicablefiling fee a signed application for waiver of the filing fee, if the debtor is eligible or a signedapplication to pay the filing fee in installments.
Application to Pay Filing Fee in Installments. If the debtor is unable to pay thefiling fee except in installments, the debtor must file an Application for Individuals to Pay the FilingFee in Installments with the voluntary petition.
The initial installment payment for individual chapter 7, 12 or 13 cases shall be$100. The initial installment payment for individual chapter 11 cases shall be $350. The initialinstallment is due with the voluntary petition.
The chapter 13 trustee is authorized to pay the balance of the filing fee owing ina chapter 13 case in which the debtor has been authorized to pay the filing fee in installments from planpayments made prior to confirmation of the plan.
An application to pay the filing fee in installments will be denied if the debtor orjoint debtor has commenced a bankruptcy case within 8 years before the date of the filing of the instantpetition, or has a pending case, in which the filing fees are owed to the Bankruptcy Court for theWestern District of Washington.
United States Bankruptcy Court
Payment of court fees may be paid online via debit card, PayPal, or ACH . To make a payment click here or use the link on the courts website at www.waeb.uscourts.gov > Online Payments. This payment option cannot be used for chapter 13 plan payments to the trustee. Registered ECF users must continue to submit payment through the ECF system.
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Bankruptcy Court In Washington State
After filing my Washington State bankruptcy, will I have to go to court? Yes. After your Washington bankruptcy petition is filed your 341 Hearing or “Meeting of Creditors” is scheduled. You must attend this hearing. Many of our bankruptcy clients are very nervous about having to go to court.
In reality, however, the overwhelming majority of bankruptcy court hearings are very brief and go very smoothly. This is why our attorneys spend so much time working with you in properly preparing your Bankruptcy Petition. If your petition is properly prepared and you have completely honest with us, then you have nothing to worry about.
Our bankruptcy lawyers successfully file hundreds of bankruptcy petitions every year. And, very few cases have any significant issues come up at their 341 Hearing. Our bankruptcy attorneys handle cases throughout Western Washington. Where your 341 Hearing will be held is determined by where you live.
You can find out where your bankruptcy Meeting of Creditors hearing will be held by visiting the Federal Bankruptcy Bourt’s informational page on where 341 hearings are held in Washington Washington. And, if you would like to know more about what formally happens at your bankruptcy court appearance, we recommend visiting the Western District of Washington’s FAQ page regarding 341 Hearings.
The Meeting of the CreditorsPort Orchard Town Square OfficeSouth King County Office – Tukwila
What Is The Downside Of Filing For Bankruptcy In Washington
- Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy causes you to create a payment plan where you have to use your post-bankruptcy income for the duration of the Chapter 13 plan period.
- Legal fees are more expensive due to the complexity of a Chapter 13 filing.
- Stockbrokers can not file for Chapter 13 petition
- A Chapter 13 bankruptcy case lasts for 3 to 5 years.
- If you have a cosigner of a loan, they can also be affected by your debt when you file for a chapter 7
- You can lose a non-exempt property which a trustee can sell under Chapter 7
- An automatic stay created by a chapter 7 filing is temporary when facing a foreclosure on your home.
- A second Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing can only be done 8 years after you filed a previous case and received a discharge of your debts.
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Washington Bankruptcy Court Directory
To determine or confirm the location of a specific meeting or hearing please contact the court directly.
Court Locations:Ephrata, Richland, Spokane, YakimaCounties of Jurisdiction:Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Ferry. Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Walla Walla, Whitman, Yakima
402 E. Yakima Ave. #200Yakima, WA 98901
Court Locations:Bremerton, Everett, Kelso, Seattle, Tacoma, VancouverCounties of Jurisdiction:Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Thurston, Whakiakum, Whatcom
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What Is Bankruptcy Protection In Washington
Bankruptcy Protection is when the Washington State exemptions âprotectâ the value of the debtorâs properties from creditors when they file for bankruptcy. With this protection, the debtor can protect some equity amount in their home, cars, retirement accounts, or household items. This Bankruptcy Protection is also called an âautomatic stayâ.
This stops creditors from proceeding with any activity that involves the collection of money or property from the debtor. For creditors to carry out any action against a debtor, they must get permission from the Bankruptcy Court. If they do not, they can be charged for punitive damages and lawyersâ costs.
The automatic stay prevents the creditor from carrying out certain actions such as:
- contacting the debtor by phone or email to request payment
- repossessing the debtorâs properties
- Proceeding with foreclosures
- Starting lawsuits
- Deducting from a debtorâs salary
The automatic stay is usually restricted to a month or it may not be put in place however, debtors can ask the court to prolong the stay or put it in place. In some cases, the creditor can make a request with the court to suspend an automatic stay. The Bankruptcy Protection does not cover the launch of certain civil actions in Washington. Previous cases dismissed within a year before the filing of a new case may not be given an automatic stay or the stay may be for a short time period unless the debtor takes action to be granted one.
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What Is The Difference Between Chapter 7 And Chapter 13 Bankruptcy In Washington
Chapter 7 is for individuals, partnerships, and corporations that have financial problems and are unable to pay their debts. A trustee will take possession of the debtorâs non-exempt properties, liquidate it for liquid cash and use it to pay creditors according to the Bankruptcy Code. Chapter 13 on the other hand, helps salary earners to repay their debts over a long period of time under court supervision and protection. This chapter may require full or partial payment. Payments are made to a trustee who distributes the proceeds to the creditors over a legally approved plan. It allows debtors to retain valuable properties that would have been foreclosed or repossessed.
What Do Washington Bankruptcy Records Contain
Because a bankruptcy case is targeted at solving financial problems, most data or information involved are financial. As a result, Washington bankruptcy records primarily contain the voluntary petition used to commence a bankruptcy claim or action. This petition provides details on the debtor’s properties, assets, income, and owed creditors’ names and addresses. However, although the information in these records is predominantly financial, they may vary depending on the type or chapter of the bankruptcy case filed with the court.
Regardless, a general bankruptcy record will provide explicit information about the debtor’s other financial affairs, such as:
- The entity’s most current federal income tax return
- Statements of the entity’s checking, savings, and investment accounts
- Payment advice or pay stubs
These documents usually have originally signed declarations attached to them. Additionally, the bankruptcy record will contain the proceedings of the 341 creditors’ meeting, the case status, and the court’s eventual ruling on the case.
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How Much Does It Cost To File A Bankruptcy Petition In Washington
All Washington debtors are mandated to pay a filing fee. This can be done either by cash payment, cashier’s check or money order to file a case at a Washington Bankruptcy Court. Checks issued by the bank through electronic bill payment agreements are not allowed. Personal checks are also not accepted by debtors. Lawyers can pay all filing fees electronically. Below are filing fees for each Bankruptcy chapter in the state of Washington:
- Chapter 7 – $338