Section 107 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code requires bankruptcy case information to be public record. People who wish to look up their own bankruptcy case or the case of another person can access the information by phone for free through the U.S. Department of Justice's Voice Case Information System. The VCIS allows people to use their phone to navigate bankruptcy court records and listen to an automated listing of case information. To use the VCIS, you must know the bankruptcy district in which the case was filed and the name of the debtor.
Go to pacer.gov. Select "Find a Case" and choose "Automated Phone Access." Scroll down until you find the number for the bankruptcy district in which the debtor filed.
Call the number for the bankruptcy district where the debtor filed. A voice prompt will guide you through the menu by using the touch-tone buttons on your phone. Select the option to search bankruptcy records by name.
Punch in the debtor's name using the keys on your phone. Substitute "1" for "Q" or "Z." Press the "#" key.
Listen as the system lists information about the case, including the names of the debtors, lawyers, the judge and the trustee. You can also hear the case number, the current status of the case and important dates such as the filing, 341 meeting, a discharge or dismissal and closing dates.
- U.S. Courts: PACER
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Wisconsin: The Voice Case Information System (VCIS)
- Cornell University Law School: U.S. Bankruptcy Code Section 107
- U.S. Courts. "Bankruptcy Basics," Pages 9–10. Accessed Aug. 1, 2020.
- U.S. Courts. "Bankruptcy Basics." Accessed Aug. 1, 2020.
- Federal Trade Commission. "Filing for Bankruptcy: What to Know." Accessed Aug. 1, 2020.
- U.S. Courts. "Bankruptcy Basics," Page 5. Accessed Aug 1, 2020.
- United States Department of Justice. "Private Trustee Information." Accessed August 1, 2020.
- HG.org. "What Does a Bankruptcy Trustee Do?" Accessed Aug. 1, 2020.
- Experian. "How to Remove Bankruptcy From Credit Report." Accessed Aug.1, 2020.
- Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute. "Bankruptcy Fraud." Accessed Aug. 1, 2020.
Lauren Treadwell studied finance at Western Governors University and is an associate of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. Treadwell provides content to a number of prominent organizations, including Wise Bread, FindLaw and Discover Financial. As a high school student, she offered financial literacy lessons to fellow students.