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Wisconsin Court Records

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What are Wisconsin Bankruptcy Records?

Bankruptcy records in Wisconsin contain details of persons or businesses involved in bankruptcy cases. These cases are often filed by debtors seeking to eliminate debts or create a repayment plan. As stated under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, there are six types of bankruptcy cases, which are all handled by the two federal courts in Wisconsin.

  • The U.S. Bankruptcy Court Eastern District of Wisconsin has jurisdiction over bankruptcy cases in the Green Bay court division and Milwaukee court division.
  • The U.S. Bankruptcy Court Western District of Wisconsin has jurisdiction over bankruptcy cases in Eau Claire district and all other western parts of Wisconsin.

Bankruptcy records are generated and maintained at the federal courts listed above. Being records created by public agencies, these records are public documents. As such, state residents may have access to bankruptcy records by contacting the federal court. Alternatively, requesters may use third-party websites like Court Records to look-up these documents.

What do Wisconsin Bankruptcy Records Contain?

Generally, Wisconsin bankruptcy records contain personal, financial, and legal information. Note that not all information on these records is open to the public. Personal information includes:

  • Name of the debtor (individual name or company name)
  • Contact details of the debtor

Financial information found on the record includes:

  • List of debtor’s asset and liability
  • Consumer statements

Other legal details are:

  • Type of bankruptcy case filed
  • Filing date
  • Name of the court where the case was filed
  • Case status
  • Docket number
  • Type and category of the petition filed

Are Bankruptcy Records Public Information?

In compliance with the Freedom of Information Act, bankruptcy records are open to the public for inspection and copying. Also, title 44 § 3301 of the U.S. Code mandates the head of each public agency to create and maintain these records. These records are available in digital formats and physical copies. Interested persons can make requests for bankruptcy records by mailing or looking up the online database. Keep in mind that not all information on the record is open to the public. Information on trade secrets and others that may lead to identity theft are examples of confidential information restricted to the public.

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 a 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 Wisconsin Bankruptcy Records

Bankruptcy records in Wisconsin are created by the federal court where the case was filed. The court clerk of the U.S. bankruptcy court in Wisconsin is tasked with creating and maintaining these records. Generally, members of the public are expected to contact the federal court to obtain a copy of the records. Here is the address of the federal bankruptcy courts in Wisconsin:

Western District of Wisconsin
The Robert W. Kastenmeier U.S. Courthouse
120 North Henry Street, Room 340
Madison, Wisconsin 53703–2559
Phone: (866) 222–8029

U.S. Bankruptcy Court
500 South Barstow Street
Eau Claire, Wisconsin 54701
Phone: (866) 222–8029

Eastern District of Wisconsin
Milwaukee Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse
517 East Wisconsin Avenue, Room 126
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone: (866) 222–8029

U.S. Federal Courthouse - Green Bay
125 S Jefferson Street
Green Bay, WI 54301
Phone: (414) 297–3291

Winnebago County Courthouse
415 Jackson Street
Oshkosh, WI 54901
Phone: (414) 297–3291

The bankruptcy court also provides a record search through the Multi-Court Voice Case Information System (McVCIS). The free service is open to touch-tone telephone users. These users may access the court database by calling (866) 222–8029 and following the instructions. The VCIS service provides details of bankruptcy records name, number, and asset of the debtor. Other information that can be accessed using this system includes:

  • The name of the judge
  • The name of the attorney
  • Trustee
  • Case number
  • Case status
  • Case disposition, etc.

How to Get Wisconsin Bankruptcy Records Online

Requesters in Wisconsin can get bankruptcy records online via the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) system. The case management system allows bankruptcy courts to manage case files online. This online search system is provided free of charge for users using home computers. However, requesters using the courthouse computer may be charged. An alternative method of obtaining digital formats of Wisconsin bankruptcy records is via Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER).

Cost of Wisconsin Bankruptcy Records

The cost of obtaining bankruptcy case files in Wisconsin is contained in 28 U.S. C. § 1930. The court clerk is required to charge $0.10 per page for copies of bankruptcy records printed from the public computer provided by the courthouse. Court staff at the courthouse may charge $0.50 per page for copies of the document. Requesters using PACER may be required to pay between $0.10 and $2.40 per page for copies of the document. Certified copies may cost $11.00 together with the $0.10 for printing. Exemplified copies may cost an extra $21.00. Note that the court may include $30.00 for case search. Debtors requesting bankruptcy records can pay via money order or cashier’s checks, which should be payable to the ‘Clerk, U.S. Bankruptcy Court.’ Cash payments are only allowed when the bankruptcy is requested in person. Non-debtors making requests may pay via personal check or credit card.

How to Get Wisconsin Bankruptcy Archived Records

Archived documents in the U.S. are maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Requesters can gain access to archived bankruptcy records by contacting NARA’s Federal Records Center at Chicago. Download, complete, and submit the bankruptcy records form to:

Federal Records Center
7358 South Pulaski Road
Chicago, IL 60629–5898
Phone: (773) 948–9030

It is advisable to contact the court clerk of the Wisconsin bankruptcy court first to know the exact location of the records. The F. R. C. may charge $35.00 to search and copy selected documents. Retrieving and copying full documents costs $90.00. An extra $15.00 is included for making certified copies. Requesters may get their order delivered within one to five days, depending on the type of request made. Archive bankruptcy case files can be delivered to the court on request. However, this request method may take ten business days, and it costs $53.00 for any copy order.

How do I Find Out if My Bankruptcy Case is Closed in Wisconsin?

Bankruptcy cases in Wisconsin are closed if the petition and motions have been ruled by the presiding judge. These cases take between four to six months to complete. Notice of closed bankruptcy cases is sent to the debtor’s email through the Debtor Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing (DeBN). This free service provided by the Bankruptcy Noticing Center (BNC) is voluntary. Only subscribers will get court updates through email submitted during registration. Debtors can register for DeBN by completing a request form, which should be filed at the court clerk’s office. Note that a photo I. D. will be required to complete the registration process. Once a DeBN account is set up, subscribers will get an email confirmation. This way, debtors can find closed cases and other court notices in Wisconsin bankruptcy courts via email.

Can a Bankruptcy be Expunged in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin bankruptcy records may show up in the debtor’s credit history. However, the records will be removed from the credit history between seven or ten years from the time the case was closed. Records of bankruptcy cases filed under chapter 7 may take up to ten years before automatic expungement from the debtor’s credit report. Cases filed under chapter 13 may be removed after seven years. Debtors can remove bankruptcy records before the stipulated time by seeking legal advice from a professional. The legal process of expungement bankruptcy case files starts by filing a petition at the court clerk’s office. Afterward, the federal bankruptcy court in Wisconsin will determine if the petition will be approved or not.

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