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Are Bankruptcy Court Records Public?

Apr 8, 2008
In today's digital age, technology has lowered the barrier to obtain information. Today, individuals are able to verify professional credentials, individual identities, business affiliations and tax IDs. In addition to verifying identities, research of public records can more easily be conducted. This is accomplished through business information services.

There are several types of business information services a person might want to research. To perform due diligence, you should be prepared to conduct in-depth research. This means you will need to have access to some of the following: criminal history, bankruptcies, liens and judgments, lawsuits, UCC filings, negative publicity and business credit history. Putting together these pieces will help you confirm your financial institution has performed due diligence.

Business Information Services and Public Court Records

Business Information Solutions (BIS) seeks to bring multiple search capabilities into a single solution. BIS can help you with on-demand due diligence by providing the following domestic and international searches:

- Lawsuits
- Judgements
- UCC Filing
- Watch List Searches
- Media Publication Searches
- Bankruptcy Records
- Tax Liens

The ability to combine the above services helps provide the business professional with the information needed to make well-informed business decisions. In addition, business information services provide several benefits such as:

1. Accelerating the due diligence process
2. Providing the ability to leverage multiple sources of information through a single solution
3. Mitigate risk and protect brand value

The benefits of business information services are extended further with the addition of archiving requested reports and documents. This provides a valuable audit trail of search requests, information that can prove valuable to refer back as necessary or when an employee leaves the company.

Bankruptcy Court Records

Did you know that bankruptcy court records are considered public records? This is not a hidden secret, but it is something that not everyone knows. The confusion surrounding bankruptcy court records usually pertains to how to gain access to these public records. Companies value these records as part of conducting due diligence. It is important to remember there are many records considered public records at the county courthouse, state courthouse and federal courthouse level. Being public means, for a fee, you have the ability and right to access these documents.

Accessing Bankruptcy Public Records

To find public records from bankruptcy cases, you can look at the county, state and federal level. Bankruptcy public records are accessible by making an individual request or you may want to look to a third-party provider. Performing transactional due diligence and relationship due diligence can be outsourced if desired.

The Role of Retrieval Specialists:

Business information services provide information through an integrated single platform. Just as the technology of this platform is important, so too is the staffing requirements to make the business information services process run efficiently and effectively. ChoicePoint is a leading provider of business information services and public record searches. As an organization they have 200 document retrieval specialists that are dedicated to perform various court searches including:

- County courthouse searches
- State courthouse searches
- Federal courthouse searches

Business Information Services and FCRA:

Referencing the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, business information services may not be used to determine eligibility for credit, employment, insurance underwriting, renter screening or for any other FCRA governed purpose.
About the Author
Michelle Thiel is an advocate for the information industry with an interest in bankruptcy court records, bankruptcy public records, corporate status, ucc filing and helping others find public records.
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