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What are North Carolina Bankruptcy Records?

Bankruptcy records in North Carolina are formal documentations that contain information about legitimate processes involved with individuals, firms, and corporate bodies requesting debt alleviation. The federal code underlying the principles of bankruptcy is Title 11 of the United States Code. Federal Bankruptcy Courts have sole jurisdiction in this category of court actions.

There are three Federal Bankruptcy Court districts in California:

  • Eastern District: serves 44 counties at two office divisions in Raleigh and Greenville
  • Middle District: handles cases from 24 counties at Newark, Winston-Salem, and Trenton court offices.
  • Western District: has four court locations that serve 32 counties in Charlotte, Asheville, Statesville, and Shelby.

These courts handle the different bankruptcy cases corresponding to the Chapters in the US Bankruptcy Code. The courthouses that file the case generate the corresponding records and maintain them in storage. Also, the federal electronic system receives copies of the primary data. It makes it available for members of the public who prefer the option of access through a device and an internet connection.

What do North Carolina Bankruptcy Records Contain?

The contents of a regular bankruptcy record in North Carolina provide the basic information about a bankruptcy case. Some of them are:

  • Casefile number;
  • Names of involved principal parties and debtors;
  • The date the court filed the case;
  • Petition type, voluntary or otherwise;
  • Statutory code chapter under which the petition falls;
  • Contact details of representing attorney;
  • Trustee’s full names;
  • Name of judge presiding on the case;
  • Dates of discharge and closure;
  • Outline of assets if available;
  • Current court disposition on the case;
  • Docket ID of the case;
  • Additional documents that may apply should there be adjacent issues.

Are Bankruptcy Records Public Information?

According to the North Carolina Public Records Law’s interpretations, bankruptcy records are free to access by members of the public. Unless the information required is closed to the public by statute, there are mostly no restrictions. Some secure information includes trade secrets and financial statements.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

How to Get North Carolina Bankruptcy Records

The District Bankruptcy Courthouse of current jurisdiction on the case is the primary record custodian of the records. There are self-service public access terminals available within the court premises that allow users to view an electronic version of a bankruptcy record. Paper copies are possible either by requesting to print out an electronic page. Otherwise, walk into the court building’s bankruptcy section to make a request and have ready the relevant bankruptcy case number. To get one, use the Court Automated Voice Information System available within the premises. Note that there may be fees for searches and photocopy services. To get a certified copy, have ready the docket number as well. Inquirers can get it from a public access terminal or through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER). It is an internet-based system that provides users with an internet connection and a user account access to case documents. Persons may wish to print pages of the document at a small fee. If requesters cannot visit the facility in person, they have the option of a phone call or mail request to the custodian. Have ready the following to get a certified copy:

  • The record case number and Docket ID
  • Name of debtor
  • Requester’s daytime phone number
  • A Self-addressed and stamped return envelope of standard size and postage

A fee schedule provided by the District Courts is the payment guide for each request that will get processed. Acceptable payment options are bank cashier checks and the US standard postage mail. The courts may archive closed cases of over one year with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Confirm this information with the Courthouse Clerk’s office before calling for an archived document. If it is in the archives, the court clerk should supply the transfer, location, and box numbers. Include this information in the request made to NARA.

How do I Find Out if My Bankruptcy Case is Closed in North Carolina?

Bankruptcy suits often get resolved quickly. Occasionally, some cases take longer, even years. A bankruptcy case is closed when all legal activities involved in the case are complete. Here, the court must have ruled on all motions and petitions. When a suit consists of a trustee, that individual files a statement stating that all trustee duties are complete. After that, the debtor or the representing attorney receives a notification.

Can a Bankruptcy be Expunged in North California?

Expunction of a bankruptcy record is possible in North Carolina. Although the federal bankruptcy code does not provide direct impositions for this, it allows for preserving the privacy rights of persons or organizations that have filed for bankruptcy. Upon request, the court of current jurisdiction can issue an order to delete the document and all associated files. Most of the time, the request should border on the reasons for which the court should withdraw a record from public access. Inclusive of them are:

  • Preserving a trade secret
  • If the suit got filed without the consent of the debtor
  • There are contents in the record that have the potential for use as libel or defamation
  • If there is the involvement of identity theft

If the expunction is not practicable, the court can move a motion to redact sensitive information from the record system to preserve the involved party’s privacy. To file a motion, visit the courthouse office to get more information about the process.

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