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FAQs for Debtors
How do I obtain information or copies on a case?
Telephone Access: Basic information, such at the debtor or debtor's attorney's name, case number,
or the name of the trustee is available on the telephone by calling the VCIS (Voice Case Information System)
at 1-866-222-8029 This information is provided free of charge and is available 24 hours a day from any
touch tone phone.
Computer Access: Electronic case summaries, docket information, and viewable copies of all pleadings filed since 1998,
may be retrieved via the Internet through the Public Access to Court Electronic
Records system (PACER). This system requires that you be a registered participant, and there is a fee
for access ($0.08 per page, with a page being approximately 50 lines of text). This charge is limited to
the first thirty pages of a document or report screen you are running, but is charged each time you open
a new document. For PACER registration information, click here for the PACER Service Center website.
In Person: Documents may be viewed in person or retrieved for copying at the Clerk's Office. Cases
which are one year old or older may be closed and archived at the Federal Records Center in
Waltham, MA . To determine if a case has been archived, contact the Clerk's Office. Records may be
obtained directly from the Federal Records Center, but you will need to obtain certain archiving
information from the Clerk's Office prior to requesting the information. Click here for the Archived
records retrieval form.
Do It Yourself on cases filed in 1998 or later - print copies off the public computer for 10 cents a page.
Do it Yourself on cases older than 1998 - public copy machine for 25 cents a page.
Clerk’s Office Staff can provide a search. - See fee schedule for current fees.
Where can I get more information?
I'm filing for bankruptcy protection but have discovered a lien against my property. What should I do?
A bankruptcy discharge will wipe out most unsecured debts, but does not remove liens which may exist against your property. Certain types of liens, such as judgment liens, may be set aside under certain circumstances based on provisions contained in the Bankruptcy Code. In order to seek to remove an eligible lien, you must file a Motion to Avoid Lien with the Court, stating the factual and legal basis supporting your motion and you must serve a copy of the motion on the creditor whose lien you are attempting to set aside as well as on the case trustee. A court order granting the motion is required to have it removed. Advice of counsel for actions to avoid liens is highly recommended.
Can I fax documents to the bankrutpcy court for filing?
No. Faxed documents are not accepted for filing
How long does a bankruptcy stay on my credit report?
A bankruptcy generally affects a persons credit rating for 7 to 10 years. However, this depends entirely on the individual credit reporting agency. The Bankruptcy Court has no influence on the type of information the credit bureaus report, nor on how long they keep it in their records. If you wish to review your credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com.
Under a new federal law, you have the right to receive a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. Each agency's report on your credit may contain information from different creditors. To receive a free annual credit report, you can call or send a written request to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
PO Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
You can also contact the credit reporting agencies directly at:
Equifax - www.equifax.com / 1-800-685-1111
Experian - www.experian.com / 1-888-397-3742
TransUnion - www.transunion.com / 1-800-916-8800
My case was dismissed - what does this mean?
A dismissal order ends the case and removes it from bankruptcy jurisdiction. When the court dismisses a case, the ‘automatic stay’ is no longer in effect and creditors may start to collect on their debts again. Some types of dismissals – such as one for cause (failing to file required schedules and statements) may contain a 180-day bar to refiling. Unless the debtor appeals the dismissal or moves for reconsideration within 14 days of the order, the case will be automatically closed.
My case has been closed, but I need to file further documents - what do I do?
In order to file additional documents after your case is closed, you must first file a Motion to Reopen the case and pay the applicable re-opening fee. The Motion to Reopen must specifically state why the case is being sought to be re-opened. Additionally, if any creditors will be affected by the re-opening (such as adding new creditors), the debtor must also serve them with a copy of the Motion to Reopen. If the Court grants the Motion to Reopen, the debtor may then file the necessary documents
How long does it take to complete the bankruptcy process and receive a discharge of debts?
Each case is different, but a general rule of thumb is that in a Chapter 7 case a debtor's discharge is usually entered between 90 to 120 days after the case was filed provided no objections to discharge are filed. Once the discharge is entered, the case is generally closed shortly thereafter. The entry of a discharge may take longer if a debtor's entitlement to the discharge is contested by the case trustee, creditors or other parties in interest. In a Chapter 13 case, a discharge is entered upon the successful completion of the repayment plan, usually between 36 to 60 months following bankruptcy. In Chapter 11, corporations and partnerships do not obtain a discharge but instead seek court approval of their plan of reorganization, which is known as plan confirmation. Once the confirmed plan is substantially consummated, a final decree will issue completing the bankruptcy process. This process may take several years to complete
What is the function of the U.S. Trustee and where are they located?
The Office of the United States Trustee is an Executive Branch agency that is part of the Department of Justice. It is primarily responsible for monitoring the administration of bankruptcy cases and detecting bankruptcy fraud. It is also responsible for appointing case trustees to administer Chapter 7 cases and a standing trustee to manage Chapter 13 cases. The U. S. Trustee also provides support and oversight to debtors who have filed under Chapter 11. The individuals appointed by the U.S. Trustee to serve as case or standing trustees in bankruptcy are appointed on a rotating basis and come from a list that changes over time.
The Connecticut office of the U. S. Trustee is located at:
Giamo Federal Building - 150 Court Street, Room 302, New Haven, CT - 203-773-2210
What if I am unable to attend the Creditor's Meeting on the date/time scheduled?
If you are unable to attend the Creditor's Meeting on the date/time it is scheduled, you must contact the case trustee assigned to your case if a Chapter 7 or 13 case, or the local office of the U.S. Trustee if a Chapter 11 case as soon as possible, and request the matter be continued to another date/time. If you are unable to travel, you can make a written request to appear telephonically at your Creditors’ Meeting. The case trustee or U.S. Trustee will determine if your circumstances warrant an appearance by telephone. If you are serving in the military and will be out of state, consult the local office of the U.S. Trustee and/or the case trustee to determine how to proceed.
The Bankruptcy Clerk's office has no involvement in the scheduling of your Creditor's Meeting and therefore cannot assist you with any requested changes or telephonic requests. All questions concerning the Meeting of Creditors must be directed to the local office of the U.S. Trustee or to your case trustee.