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Locating Assets - Bankruptcy Records


Information Available

Bankruptcy court filings probably contain more financial information on a debtor than any other source. Of course, they are only available if a debtor has previously filed for bankruptcy protection with one of the U.S. District Courts. Depending on the type of bankruptcy filed, the debtor may still keep possession of the assets after her/his case is closed and is no longer subject to any legal restrictions on collection activity.

Commonly disclosed information on bankruptcy filings includes the following nonexclusive items: last four digits of the SSN, addresses, real estate locations and values, bank account location and information, motor vehicle information, general value of assets owned, specific information about other debts (secured or unsecured), personal property and its claimed value, etc. In a Chapter 11 or 13 (sometimes Chapter 7 too), such as, the debtor may have gone through the bankruptcy process and kept the some of the assets through a restructured payment plan, by reaffirming the debt or through other means. In large quality/quantity asset cases it can be well worth your time to further investigate and find out if the debtor still owns any of the listed assets.

Access to Information

A Creditor can gain access the records for Minnesota bankruptcies via the bankruptcy court’s web site at Minnesota’s bankruptcy courts were one of the first in the nation to offer online access to its records. You can now gain access to nationwide records through Public Access to Court’s Electronic Records-PACER- see a fee per page is charged for access. The website provides free tutorials to help get you started on your bankruptcy filing research.

With or without the video tutorials, it is a fairly easy site to navigate, you will only need Adobe Acrobat Reader (available for free download with a link from the Court’s website). You may search by case number, social security number or the debtor’s name. Subject to per page fees. Everyone should check it out and see what they can find about a corporate or individual debtor who has previously filed for bankruptcy protection (or neighbor or friend (current/former or even a family member).

Happy Researching!

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