Are Bankruptcy Records Public Information in Alaska?
Following Alaska Public Records Act, bankruptcy records are available for public view unless they are sealed. On rare occasions, a judge may order the sealing of a bankruptcy file if its details can threaten personal safety. In Alaska, parties that want to access bankruptcy documents must provide reasons for the request in order to balance the interest of all participants in the case.
Record seekers looking for an alternative to government sources may obtain bankruptcy records from third-party websites. These non-governmental websites 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 they’re independent of government sources. To obtain bankruptcy case information using third-party sites, record seekers may need to provide:
- A complete name of the debtor involved in the record
- A bankruptcy case number
What are Alaska Bankruptcy Records?
Bankruptcy records in Alaska are documents containing information about an individual, business, or corporation's bankruptcy petition. The United States Bankruptcy Court District of Alaska addresses bankruptcy petitions and figures out ways to help creditors and debtors settle their financial differences. Archived bankruptcy records in Alaska are in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration. To retrieve an archived bankruptcy file, parties must complete and mail the NARA Bankruptcy case Order Form to the records administration responsible for the state. Alaska bankruptcy records and case information may also be accessible via third-party service providers.
What Do Alaska Bankruptcy Records Contain?
A bankruptcy record consists of information such as:
- The name of the trustee and judge
- Case filing and closing date
- Name of the bankrupt
- Chapter filed for
- Case status
- Case number
- Name of the attorney and telephone number
- Claim filing deadline
- Date and time of the 341 meetings
- Date of discharge.
How to Get Alaska Bankruptcy Records
Interested persons can request bankruptcy records using three different methods in Alaska:
- Multi-court Voice Case Information System (McVCIS): This system gives basic case information to anyone with a mobile phone. Individuals seeking bankruptcy records can dial the court toll-free line (866) 222-8029 for free access at any time. However, the search requirements are the participant's name, social security number, and case number.
- NextGen CM/ECF (Case Management/Electronic Case Files): NextGen CM/ECF provides functionality that allows citizens to maintain a single login detail for PACER access and e-filing in all federal courts. Requestors are given the advantage of registering once to obtain court records, provided the documents are not under any seal.
- Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER): This is an online public service that gives users access to records from bankruptcy, district, and federal appellate courts. PACER is a federal judiciary service to help fulfill the mandate of providing public access to court information using a centralized platform.
To use the Public Access to Court Electronic Records, interested persons must have a PACER account of their own as sharing PACER accounts is no longer possible. The PACER account linked to the CM/ECF filing account will enable users to access NextGen CM/ECF.
The PACER Case Locator can aid the search for courts to know where to request a bankruptcy file. New users can register for a PACER account online, the PACER Service Center at email@example.com, or by dialing (800) 676-6856. Bankruptcy records are maintained locally by each court, and citizens have free access to the District of Alaska Document Filing System.
Where to Conduct a Free Bankruptcy Case Search in Alaska
While the primary way to access bankruptcy information in Alaska is by using the PACER Case Locator tool, inquirers may be able to access bankruptcy case records by querying the court where the case was heard. Most courts maintain self-service public computers with which members of the public can perform searches at no cost. However, inquirers may need to pay a free to cover the cost of record production if physicial copies of the record are required. Alternatively, inquirers may make in-person request to the District of Alaska US Bankrupcy Court
How Do I Find Out if My Bankruptcy Case is Closed in Alaska?
Alaska residents can discover the status of their bankruptcy case using the VCIS platform by dialing (866) 222-8029. Upon request, interested individuals must provide the case number, name of the debtor, social security number, information on the assigned trustee to the case, the date of filing, and other necessary information to aid the search. PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) is another good option to check if a case is closed. Once the inquirer creates an account and fills in the search criteria, the result will either report that the case has been closed or is still open and running.
During a bankruptcy suit, a discharge does not signify that the case has been closed. It only notifies the debtor of the current development regarding the clearing out of personal liabilities and incurred debts. Meanwhile, the case is still very much active to the creditor, the court, and other parties involved. In Alaska, bankruptcy cases can be re-visited if the need to add more debts or liquidate an asset arises. This variable ultimately influences the period required for the legal action to be finalized and closed.
When the court issues a decree to close a bankruptcy case, the petitioner or representative attorney will receive an email notifying the parties. Perhaps a notification has not been received, then it is evident that the case is still running and is open to re-visiting.
Can a Bankruptcy Be Expunged in Alaska?
In Alaska, there is no legislative provision for sealing or expunging bankruptcy records. Nevertheless, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can only affect an individual’s credit report negatively for a maximum of ten years. In contrast, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing can stay on a record for up to seven years, which varies on the type of credit report agency.
How Much Does It Cost to File Bankruptcy in Alaska?
The cost to file bankruptcy in Alaska depends on the chapter being filed as well as the sum of any additional costs. Whatever the chapter being filed, debtors can expect to pay $300 or more. However, persons who employ the services of an attorney can expect to pay an additional fee.
Other factors that might impact the amount spent to file bankruptcy include credit counseling and attorney consultation fees.