In the U.S., the majority of court cases are put on public record. This includes all bankruptcy filings which are often listed in local newspapers and are always available on the government-administered online database PACER (Public Access Court Electronic Records). The listings available on PACER are not easily accessed by any individual, but they are available to bankruptcy attorney, creditors involved in bankruptcy proceedings, bankruptcy trustees and bankruptcy judges.
If you’re struggling to meet debt payments and think that bankruptcy might be right for you, it’s important to understand why and how your case may be listed publicly and could be accessed by a limited number of parties. If you are considering filing, Behm Law Group, Ltd. can provide the guidance and assistance you need when working through bankruptcy in New Ulm, MN.
Bankruptcy is given a poor image both in financial and social terms, but the fact is that it’s a vital process for those who are unable to recover from severe debt. For many, bankruptcy is the best way to debt relief and long-term financial recovery.
Those planning on filing for bankruptcy can learn some of the basics of the process just from looking at listings local to their area. If your local newspaper lists monthly bankruptcies, it’s likely they will be written out like this:
- Name of filer
- Name of any joint filers
- Address of filer
- Chapter they filed
- Date they filed
- Their assets
- Their liabilities
This is what you can learn from this listing:
- The name of the filer may tell you if it was a business or individual.
- The joint filer names tell you that either a spouse or a business partner filed jointly.
- Their address tells you what region they filed in, and may give you some more information about the financial demographics of that area if there are multiple bankruptcy filings. If you live in the same region, it may give you some peace of mind to know you’re not alone.
- The chapter they filed for will give you an idea of the bankruptcy process (i.e. whether it was liquidation or reorganization).
- The date they filed may give information about fluctuations of increases or decreases in bankruptcy cases throughout the year.
- Their asset amount tells you how much their properties and accounts were worth. This includes physical property, bank accounts, stocks, retirement funds, and any other sources of income.
- Liabilities represent a blanket term for debts and other unpaid financial obligations. This amount tells you just how much debt might have been resolved through bankruptcy, and it gives you a good comparison of asset to debt ratios.
Overall, public postings of local bankruptcy cases give you a great way to compare your own situation with those who found recovery through the bankruptcy process. Generally speaking, Minnesota newspapers choose not to list local bankruptcy filings. However, newspapers in North Dakota and Iowa do choose to list local bankruptcy filings. For many reasons, including the possibility of identity theft, newspapers are becoming much more circumspect about listing local bankruptcy filings. If you believe filing for bankruptcy in New Ulm, MN, might be the right choice for you, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.