Wyoming Court Records
What are Wyoming Bankruptcy Records?
The bankruptcy process relieves debtors in Wyoming and other states of financial obligations. Through the bankruptcy process, persons who can no longer pay creditors will find assistance in liquidating assets to repay debts. In some cases, the process helps outline a payment plan and thus, protects the creditor’s interests. Federal laws guide the bankruptcy process, and therefore, only federal courts hear bankruptcy cases. The federal bankruptcy court in Wyoming is the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District. Unlike other states where there are three and sometimes more bankruptcy courts, Wyoming has just one that serves all the state counties. The court has locations at Cheyenne and Casper.
Although the laws that guide the bankruptcy filing process are uniform because the laws are federal, each court has a local operation and administration rules, including filing processes, opening times, and process-specific rules. Wyoming also has bankruptcy exemptions and alternatives such as debt consolidation and credit counseling.
Bankruptcy clerks maintain bankruptcy records in Wyoming. Bankruptcy clerks are the court’s record custodians and make the records available to the public on request. Bankruptcy records are public and accessible from government and third-party websites.
What do Wyoming Bankruptcy Records Contain?
In Wyoming, it is possible to file for bankruptcy under six different chapters of the bankruptcy act, and there are requirements for each chapter. Typically, most people file under Chapters seven, 11, and 13. Generally, persons filing for bankruptcy must present some paperwork in court, and the documents form part of bankruptcy records. Petitioners must present income statements that itemize income sources, living expenses and debts, real estate and all other assets that the petitioner owns, tax returns, car titles and real estate deeds, a list of creditors, and any loan documentation. In some bankruptcy processes, such as the Chapter 13 bankruptcy, petitioners must also submit a proposed repayment plan. As soon a petitioner completes the filing process, the court grants the petitioner an automatic stay, which keeps creditors from claiming any of the debtor’s properties or directly contacting the debtor. The stay order also halts foreclosures and other recovery acts.
Stay orders, meeting notes, and other court decisions are also part of Wyoming bankruptcy records. Requesting parties can expect to find all the information listed, along with additional information such as creditors’ claims, documentation of any funds exchanged in the process, and the petitioner’s personal identifying information, including social security numbers and other personal financial information.
Are Bankruptcy Records Public Information?
Bankruptcy records are public information. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), federal agency records are public unless the documents are exempted from public access by law. The FOIA exempts records from public access if access to the records would constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy or jeopardize government and private interests and processes, including security, trade, and law enforcement investigations. Some records exempted from public access under FOIA include:
- Information related to the practices and internal personnel rules of an organization;
- Information that is classified by executive order in the interest of foreign policy or national defense;
- Confidential records exchanged within or between agencies.
- Records specifically exempted by other statutes;
- Confidential financial information or trade secrets obtained outside the government;
- Confidential medical information about personnel and individuals;
- Information about the regulation of financial institutions;
- Some law enforcement records, especially those for which disclosure would:
- Interfere with proceedings
- Deprive a person of the right to a fair trial
- Constitute an invasion of privacy
- Disclose the identity of confidential sources
- Endanger the safety or life of a person
- Compromise law enforcement processes
- Maps and other geophysical and geological information about wells.
Because bankruptcy records are public, creditors, bankruptcy attorneys, bankruptcy trustees, and other members of the public may access the records unless the court orders the records sealed. Bankruptcy records also appear on the petitioner’s credit report. For seven to ten years after discharge, records of the petitioner’s debts and debtors appear on the petitioner’s credit report. Employers and landlords can access this information.
Additionally, after a petitioner files for bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee calls a meeting of creditors. The creditors’ meeting is another avenue for bankruptcy records or information to be made public.
How to Get Wyoming Bankruptcy Records
Interested parties may get Wyoming bankruptcy records electronically through the Voice Case Information System (VCIS) or Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) services. VCIS allows requesting parties to access bankruptcy records using a phone. Users enter required information, such as the case party’s tax identification or case number, by following the voice prompts and entering the required information on the phone. VCIS returns information such as:
- The debtor’s name
- Case filing date
- Case number
- Asset status
- Judge or attorney assigned to the case
- Consumer or business
- Case status
- Case disposition
- Discharge date/closing dates
Interested parties may call the toll-free number (866) 222–8029 to use VCIS for the Wyoming Bankruptcy Court. PACER is an option for accessing online federal court records. Interested parties may search for Wyoming bankruptcy records on the website. To use PACER, requesting parties must register for an account at no charge. However, PACER charges fees for accessing court records. Persons who accumulate no more than $30 in a quarter do not have to pay any fees. Alternatively, interested parties may access bankruptcy records electronically through third-party websites.
To obtain physical copies of bankruptcy records, interested parties may visit the Bankruptcy Clerk at any of the Wyoming Bankruptcy Courthouses. Court Clerks maintain court records and, according to the law, must make public records available when interested parties make requests. The Wyoming Bankruptcy Court offices have public terminals through which interested parties can access public records at no charge. Copy production may attract a fee. Persons who have searched government websites and resources with no results may make FOIA public records requests.
How do I Find Out if My Bankruptcy Case is Closed in Wyoming?
Wyoming residents may inquire about bankruptcy case statuses by using the VCIS or PACER services. These services provide electronic access to case records and information, including case disposition and case status. Creditors may also get case status information through the Free Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing Service (EBN). Requesting parties may also find case status information using the public terminals at the Wyoming Bankruptcy Court locations or contacting the Bankruptcy Clerk.
Can a Bankruptcy be Expunged in Wyoming?
Expungement does not typically apply to bankruptcy records since bankruptcy records are not about criminal offenses or convictions. However, the court may seal bankruptcy records to protect individual privacy or public interest. Additionally, petitioners or the legal representatives of petitioners may file confidential information under seal. Examples of such information include:
- Names of minors
- Social security numbers
- Financial account numbers
- Dates of birth