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Utah Court Records

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What are Utah Bankruptcy Records?

In Utah, when an individual or corporation is financially unfit to repay debts to creditors, the entity can file for bankruptcy. Files generated during the process are bankruptcy records, and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Utah maintains the records. A bankruptcy may arise from several issues such as costly medical bills, unemployment, overextended credit, and others. There are two types of bankruptcies in Utah that an entity can file for: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. The most common type of bankruptcy is Chapter 7 bankruptcy, as it involves asset liquidation to pay for as much of the debt that is possible. The money acquired from asset sales is distributed to creditors like credit companies and banks. After some months, the court issues notice of discharge to the debtor. Chapter 7 bankruptcy offers a clean slate, but the debtor will stand to lose every asset ever owned.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy involves putting in place a structural plan to repay debts over three to five years. Utah citizens who want to retain properties or possessions can choose this bankruptcy filing option. The District of Utah bankruptcy court handles all bankruptcy cases.

Members of the public can decide to file for bankruptcy with or without an attorney’s aid but must comply with the Local Rule 9011–2(b). To file a bankruptcy case in Utah, petitioners are to complete one of two forms provided by the Bankruptcy Court District of Utah. These include the standardized national forms used in the United States bankruptcy courts and customized local forms used in the Bankruptcy Court District of Utah.

What do Utah Bankruptcy Records Contain?

The detailed financial information in a bankruptcy record includes gross income, income sources, and a list of creditors. Other details are bank accounts, real property, owned businesses, stock. The amount owed is stated under the list of creditors, along with the addresses of the creditors. If the debtor has an enterprise that comprises employees, the record will include a list of employees and final paychecks.

Are Bankruptcy Records Public Information?

The court oversees legal disputes involving bankruptcies, and as such, bankruptcy records are public records because court proceedings are involved. The only exception is if a court order is issued to seal the record. Then, it cannot be accessible to the public. Through the PACER system, anybody can access bankruptcy records that have no sealing order. Asides from record sealing, a bankruptcy record may be exempt from public view if one of the following clauses are triggered (11. U.S. C. Section 107)

  • If disclosure of the document will reveal trade secrets or confidential commercial details
  • If the court filing proceeding is defamatory or scandalous
  • If there is a significant risk of identity theft or another unlawful injury to the person or property

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 Utah Bankruptcy Records

Interested parties can receive Utah bankruptcy records by email and in-person from the Bankruptcy Court District of Utah. The search can as well be done online by search on the Simple Case Lookup database. Requesters are required to select one of three search methods; the Case Number Search, Social and Name Search, and Business Name Search. The case number search requires a case number issued by the bankruptcy court in Utah. Social and Name Search requests the last four digits of the Social Security Number and the debtor’s last name. Debtors would need to enter at least the first three characters of the business name for the Business Name Search method.

Financial institutions are to use the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) portal to obtain Utah bankruptcy files. Registration is required to log into the database to find information. PACER charges a small fee per page based on the document’s format, such as audio files or transcripts. The information available on bankruptcy case dockets includes date chronology, lists of all parties and participants such as attorneys, judges, and trustees.

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

In Utah, Bankruptcy cases are closed after the District Court issues an order. Usually, the District Court will send the individual notice by mail. This mail is either sent directly or through the attorney. Contact the Clerk’s office of the Bankruptcy Court District of Utah through the following address:

Clerk’s Office of the Bankruptcy Court District of Utah
350 South Main Street, 3rd Floor
Salt Lake City, Utah 84101
Telephone: (801) 524–6687
Fax: (801) 524–4409
Email: bankruptcy_clerk@utb.uscourts.gov

Utah citizens can also find a bankruptcy case’s status through the PACER system as it is frequently updated to provide the most accurate and timely information.

Can a Bankruptcy be Expunged in Utah?

Due to the collateral damage accrued from bankruptcy cases, most people desire to have such records removed or sealed. Credit reporting agencies receive a notification once a bankruptcy petition is filed, and such agencies are mandated to report it. The state of Utah does not consider bankruptcy filing as a crime; therefore, expungement is not possible as with a criminal record. Even if an entity decides to withdraw a bankruptcy filing, the mere fact that the bankruptcy petition was once in place will activate a credit record report. There are many types of bankruptcy filings, but Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the most common. These types of bankruptcy petitions can last as long as ten years on the debtor’s credit record based on the Chapter filed.

Following 28 U.S. C. Section 1452, members of the public, by law, can remove any claim or action in a civil lawsuit as long as bankruptcy jurisdiction exists. Parties can challenge petitions that call for removing a case in Utah’s bankruptcy court. In such cases, the attorneys seek alternative grounds for removal under the bankruptcy removal statute. Parties interested in removing bankruptcy records should register with a credit monitoring service to check the credit report for bankruptcy errors. If the service finds errors, the credit bureaus will receive a procedural request letter through the Utah District Courts. The last step is contacting the specified courts of credit bureaus to verify if the credit report violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

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