Oregon Court Records
What are Oregon Bankruptcy Records?
Oregon bankruptcy records encompass all information and documents filed during bankruptcy proceedings. The proceedings commence when a debtor files a petition seeking relief from the obligation to pay accrued debts. The rules guiding bankruptcy cases are enclosed in the U.S Bankruptcy Code. According to the code, debtors may file for bankruptcy under different chapters, depending on the circumstances surrounding the case. Because bankruptcy is covered under federal law, the cases are handled in federal courts and not Oregon State Courts. As a result, The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Oregon addresses all bankruptcy matters in the state. All public records documenting these proceedings can be retrieved on request from the court, the federal judiciary website (PACER), and third-party databases. To find Oregon court records pertaining to a bankruptcy proceeding, inquirers will need to provide the record custodian information with which to facilitate the search.
What do Oregon Bankruptcy Records Contain?
In bankruptcy legal proceedings, the debtor must provide financial information, personal information and fulfill other legal obligations. All these will be contained in the bankruptcy record. It is important to note that, due to the sensitive nature of some of the information, they may be placed under seal. However, an open and unrestricted bankruptcy record should provide the following information:
- Name, occupation, and address of the individual or entity declaring bankruptcy
- Debtor’s date of birth
- Type of bankruptcy proceeding
- Attorney’s name and contact information
- Details of all creditors and how much is owed to them
- Name and contact information of appointed trustees
- Case number
- Date of adjudication as a bankrupt
- Date and location of the meeting of creditors
- Current status of the proceeding
- Order of discharge and details of attached conditions
- Date of case closure
Are Bankruptcy Records Public Information?
According to federal law, unless a judge orders sealing of the records, bankruptcy case files are matters of public record. Therefore, interested persons or entities do not require any special authorization to be granted access to inspect, examine, or copy such records.
However, occasionally, if the court determines that access to a bankruptcy case file threatens the safety or reputation of any party in the case, the court may restrict access to the files. Hence, sensitive information such as social security numbers, financial account numbers, commercial information, trade secrets, confidential research, children’s information, etc., may be redacted.
Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:
- The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
- The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.
Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.
How to Get Oregon Bankruptcy Records
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Oregon collects, stores, and disseminates bankruptcy records in Oregon. They are obtainable via the following means:
- By in-person visits to the courthouse where the case was filed.
1050 SW 6th Avenue #700
Portland, OR 97204
Phone: (503) 326-1500
405 E 8th Avenue #2600
Eugene, OR 97401
Phone: (541) 431-4000
For requests made in-person, copy fees are 10 cents per page when using the computer in the court’s lobby. A $30 search fee may apply if the clerk spends considerable time finding the requested document. Also, an $11.00 certification fee applies for certified copies. The clerk’s office accepts only checks, money orders, and exact change as payment.
2. Mail requests
Copies obtained via mail requests cost $0.50 per page. The inquirer must provide the debtor(s) name and case number, specify the documents to be copied, state the requester’s name and contact information, and include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. The applicable check or money order should be made payable to “Clerk, U.S. Bankruptcy Court”.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
1050 SW 6th Avenue #700
Portland OR 97204
U.S Bankruptcy Court
405E. 8th Avenue #2600
Eugene OR 97401
3. Email request
Only records such as the discharge order, order of dismissal, and petition and schedules or can be requested via this means. The contact form on the court’s website must be completed and submitted to make the request. In response, the clerk’s office will process the request and reply with PDF attachments of the requested records. Unlike the other means of request, this option provides faster delivery within two business days at no cost. However, the bankruptcy court cannot provide complete case files and certified copies via email.
Also, a case number is required for every search. If it is unavailable, the clerk’s office can be contacted over the phone for assistance. With this option, the debtor’s full name and social security number are required.
With a registered account, requesters can have real-time bankruptcy records at the cost of $0.10 per page. However, records of cases filed before December 1, 2003, and cases closed for over a year are unavailable on this platform.
Oregon bankruptcy VCIS is a free service that requires the use of a touch-telephone to obtain basic case information. Available information can include the case number, date of filing, debtor’s name, debtor’s attorney’s information, judge’s name, and case status. Users must dial (866) 222-8029 to use this service.
Records of cases filed before 11/7/03 are stored at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Seattle, Washington. With the assistance of the Clerk of Court, these records are easily retrievable.
How do I Find Out if My Bankruptcy Case is Closed in Oregon?
Usually, after the court grants a “discharge” that releases the debtor from all financial obligations, the bankruptcy case is closed and finalized by the court’s final order. Determining if a bankruptcy case is closed or active is a part of the basic case information that The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Oregon provides via various means. Therefore, the inquirer may contact the office of the Clerk of Court for the case status. For faster results, an email request or telephone request will suffice.
Can a Bankruptcy be Expunged in Oregon?
Bankruptcy cases in Oregon are federal cases; therefore, they can not be expunged under the Oregon Expungement Statutes(ORS137.225). Regardless, federal courts have no inherent authority to grant expungement orders for bankruptcy because there are no specific provisions for federal expungement of such records. Notwithstanding, the court may place a case file under a seal if the information is deemed sensitive and a party’s safety, property, or reputation is threatened by the disclosure of part or all of the record.
Also, although the records cannot be deleted, they can be removed from credit reports. Depending on the chapter of bankruptcy filed, they can be removed from the debtor’s credit report between 6-10 years.