Bankruptcy Basics: How Do I Check On The Status Of My Bankruptcy?

by Karen Oakes, Esq.

July 8, 2007

The first way to check on your bankruptcy is to call your attorney!!!

Okay, so you don’t have an attorney. There are a couple other ways to check on the status of your bankruptcy.

1. Open every single letter from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court or the Trustee for your case. Often, there are deadlines in the mail and not opening the letter is not a good excuse.

2. Call the Court and ask a Clerk. This is not recommended. The Clerks are very busy people and you may wait on hold for a long time and not get the information you want.

3. Call the Trustee assigned to your case and ask the Trustee. This is really not recommended. The Trustee is a very busy person and you may not get the information that you want.

4. Go to the Court’s website and look for a link to PACER. (To find the Court’s website, do a search for “U.S. Bankruptcy Court (your state) website”. Most courts use the PACER system, which is a electonic case management system. Most of the District Courts (each state has a district court) have their own database on PACER. There is also a United States PACER database at http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov
In order to use PACER, you must have an account. Follow the directions on the website to set up an account. This costs money. .08 a page doesn’t seem like much but it adds up quickly. Once you have an account, choose the bankruptcy court database, choose your state or district or circuit and type in your name (almost like an internet search but not quite). Your name and case number should come up. If you click on your case, look for the link to the DOCKET. Click on the docket. You should be able to see what the last document was that was filed in the case. You can also check on who has filed claims (if your case is a Chapter 13—or a Chapter 7 with assets that the Trustee is distributing).

Remember, .08 a page adds up quickly!!!

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I'm a consumer protection lawyer in Oregon, working with people in Klamath; Lake; Jackson; Josephine; Curry; and Deschutes County. I speak regularly on bankruptcy and consumer protection issues nationwide.

Last modified: July 8, 2007