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What are Vermont Bankruptcy Records?

Bankruptcy records in Vermont contain all information on a bankruptcy case stored in the bankruptcy court database or the Administrative Office of the US Courts. Furthermore, bankruptcy records contain all the information relevant to the case, such as the name of the presiding judge, the name of the debtor, and the name of the creditor.

Bankruptcy courts are courts of subject-matter jurisdiction for all bankruptcy cases in Vermont. These courts are a division of the federal district court. A bankruptcy court’s function is to provide legal intervention for persons in debt who cannot repay, to ensure that the debtor is relieved and the creditor is repaid. Bankruptcy courts operate guided by the provisions of the Bankruptcy Code (Title 11) established in the federal law.

There is a single bankruptcy court in the district of Vermont, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Vermont, which is attached to the federal district court. The bankruptcy court has two courthouse locations in the district, in Burlington and Rutland. The Rutland courthouse has no staffed Clerk’s office.

Bankruptcy records for every federal judicial district are stored in a nationwide index, updated daily to reflect any changes. The Clerk of Court Office in Burlington provides record-keeping services for the bankruptcy court in the Vermont district. Vermont bankruptcy records are also available on third-party websites.

What do Vermont Bankruptcy Records Contain?

A Vermont bankruptcy record contains all the legal information related to a bankruptcy case. Bankruptcy files include details of court proceedings and information about any other activity after the lawsuit’s resolution. Additionally, bankruptcy files contain all parties involved in the legal process, such as the presiding judge, the attorneys, the debtor, the trustee, and the creditor. It also contains the court’s name, the date of the filing, and the resolution of the case.

Are Bankruptcy Records Public Information?

Yes, the provisions of Title 11 USC § 107 (2018) classifies all bankruptcy records as public information obtainable for viewing and copying by members of the public. Some limitations exist on bankruptcy records, preventing some of the documents from being wholly or partially accessed. Under Title 11 USC § 107 (2018), these limitations disallow the release of information to the public, such as trade secrets or the confidential data of any entity. The law also restricts information, which could cause unlawful defamation or unnecessary injury to any person or entity.

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 Vermont Bankruptcy Records

The Administrative Office of the US Courts manages Vermont bankruptcy records, which provides two means of accessing bankruptcy records; the PACER system and the MCVCIS. The PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) system is an online federal case locator service to access all federal court cases (district, bankruptcy, or appellate). The PACER system provides the most comprehensive information on a bankruptcy case but does not contain redacted information. PACER is a billable service.

The MCVCIS (Multi-Court Voice Case Information System) is a free service that allows access to case information through a phone call. The service provides limited court information such as the case number, the debtor’s name, the presiding judge’s name, the filing date, the bankruptcy chapter, the creditor’s claim, the name of the trustee, and the current case status. The service does not provide docket information. To request bankruptcy files through MCVCIS, call: 1–866–222–8029 and follow the prompts. The search keys applicable for use with this service are the debtor’s name, the case number, and the debtor’s social security number.

Interested parties can search the bankruptcy court database in Vermont physically by visiting the Clerk of Court’s office in Burlington and using the electronic terminals. The use of the terminal incurs applicable fees.

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

Bankruptcy records will show the case status of bankruptcy cases. To find out if a bankruptcy case is closed, interested parties can use the federal judiciary’s case locator service. The status revealed in the case record shows if the lawsuit is still open, suspended, or erased. Notwithstanding, inquirers can pay a visit to the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Vermont in person to check for any change in case status.

Can Bankruptcy Be Expunged in Vermont?

The Bankruptcy Code provisions stated in Title 11 of the United States Code do not make any allowances for expungement of bankruptcy records. While there is little inclination on the part of judges to expunge bankruptcy records, as bankruptcy records are public information, in particular circumstances, a judge has the power to expunge bankruptcy files. The alternative measure to expungement some judges employ is to remove the debtor’s name from the docket entry so that a search using the debtor’s name as the key attribute will not yield the debtor’s records.

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