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Connecticut Bankruptcy Records

What are Connecticut Bankruptcy Records?

Connecticut bankruptcy court records are documents and reports concerning individuals and organizations that filed for bankruptcy in the state. The bankruptcy process helps citizens eliminate debts and start life afresh. Generally, in these proceedings, the bankruptcy court obtains all necessary information concerning the petitioner's financial circumstances. Bankruptcy records are regarded as public records in Connecticut. Therefore, interested individuals may look up and obtain the documents through specific independent third-party websites such as staterecords.org.

Bankruptcy in Connecticut

The United States Bankruptcy Court is charged with the federal responsibility of handling bankruptcy cases in Connecticut and other states. The decision is based on the United States Code, Title 11 - also known as the Bankruptcy Code. Depending on their eligibility status, debtors can file for different types of bankruptcy available in Connecticut. Such types of bankruptcy include Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 13, etc. For instance, debtors who file for a Chapter 11 can develop a repayment plan instead of liquidating their assets.

However, interested individuals or organizations filing for bankruptcy must first complete a credit counseling session. After this, they are to submit the credit counseling certificate along with the bankruptcy petition. Debtors in the District of Connecticut may file for bankruptcy in person or by mail. Below are the following bankruptcy court locations in Hartford, Bridgeport, and New Haven:

Hartford
Physical Address:
United States Bankruptcy Court
Abraham Ribicoff Federal Building
450 Main Street, 7th Floor
Hartford, CT 06103
Phone: (860) 240-3675

Mailing Address:
United States Bankruptcy Court
Abraham Ribicoff Federal Building
450 Main Street, 7th Floor
Hartford, CT 06103

Office Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (excluding Federal holidays).

Bridgeport
Physical Address:
United States Bankruptcy Court
Brien McMahon Federal Building
915 Lafayette Boulevard
Bridgeport, CT 06604
Phone: (203) 579-5808

Mailing Address:
United States Bankruptcy Court
Brien McMahon Federal Building
915 Lafayette Boulevard
Bridgeport, CT 06604

Office Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (excluding Federal holidays).

New Haven
Physical Address:
United States Bankruptcy Court
Connecticut Financial Center
157 Church Street, 18th Floor
New Haven, CT 06510
Phone: (203) 773-2009

Mailing Address:
United States Bankruptcy Court
Connecticut Financial Center
157 Church Street, 18th Floor
New Haven, CT 06510

Office Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (excluding Federal holidays). Bankruptcy records in Connecticut are public records. The records usually contain the debtor’s financial reports and other vital information. Examples of such information may include:

  • Details of the debtor’s source of income
  • Amount of the debtor’s gross income
  • The frequency of the debtor’s income
  • A detailed list of debtor’s properties and assets.
  • A detailed list of the amount owed by the debtor, names of the creditors, and the nature of claims.
  • A detailed list of the debtor’s monthly expenses.

What Do Connecticut Bankruptcy Records Contain?

Generally, the information in a bankruptcy document varies depending on the case type. However, a Connecticut bankruptcy record usually contains the following details:

  • Name of the petitioner
  • Case filing date
  • Type of bankruptcy filed
  • The reference number
  • Closing date of the bankruptcy
  • Information concerning the creditor such as credit agency, name, and address
  • Assets
  • Case status
  • The court handling the bankruptcy case

Are Bankruptcy Records Public Information?

According to the Freedom of Information Act, the general public has a right to search and obtain any unsealed bankruptcy records. This law permits all citizens to access the records physically or electronically to inspect or copy them. Interested parties should note that some Connecticut bankruptcy records are not available in the public domain as they are sealed. The public cannot access these records because they are considered confidential.

Record seekers looking for an alternative to government sources may obtain bankruptcy records from third-party websites. These non-governmental websites often come with tools that help simplify the search for single or multiple records. However, record availability on third-party sites tends to vary because they’re independent of government sources. To obtain bankruptcy case information using third-party sites, record seekers may need to provide:

  • A complete name of the debtor involved in the record
  • A bankruptcy case number

How to Get Connecticut Bankruptcy Records

Requesters can access bankruptcy records filed in Connecticut by contacting the clerk of the appropriate court. Connecticut has one U.S. bankruptcy court with branches in 3 different locations:

Hartford Location (Abraham Ribicoff Federal Building)
450 Main Street, 7th Floor
Hartford, CT 06103

Bridgeport Location (Brien McMahon Federal Building)
915 Lafayette Boulevard
Bridgeport, CT 06604

New Haven Location (Connecticut Financial Center)
157 Church Street, 18th Floor
New Haven, CT 06510

Interested persons will need to provide certain details such as a case number or debtor's name to access records. A record search costs $32 unless the file is accessible through the public access terminals. Record seekers can also obtain Connecticut bankruptcy records online through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER). Requesters will be required to register with a unique login and password to retrieve records. To search for or view a record, the requester will need to provide some case details, including the court where the case was filed and the case number.

Alternatively, NARA (National Archives Records Administration) facilitates the retrieval of Connecticut bankruptcy records that are closed. The agency allows requesters to either order copies or view records on-site. To access records maintained by NARA, requesters should contact the court clerk first to ascertain the courthouse that handled the case. Once determined, interested individuals can order copies of the bankruptcy records online by downloading and mailing the order form. A certified copy of the state's bankruptcy record delivered via express shipping or mail costs $15 each. To request closed records, individuals will be required to provide the following information:

  • The name of the court that handled the case
  • The name of all persons involved in the case
  • The case number
  • The time when the case was filed.
  • The box number, transfer number, and location number

The clerk at the court where the case was filed can provide details on the case's box, location, and transfer number. However, if the transfer number cannot be retrieved because of the case's age, the individual should note it in the request. Requests to NARA can also be made via phone at (816) 268-8000 or email.

Furthermore, NARA offers on-site access to persons interested in Connecticut bankruptcy records. Interested parties should note that they will need to book an appointment to allow for time to retrieve the file from its off-site location. This way, requesters can view the records for free.

Requesters are to send in a request (a minimum of two business days) before the desired appointment date. Records are examined in the research room during working days from 8.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Below is the on-site location:

National Archives Records Administration (Kansas City)
400 West Pershing Road
Kansas City, MO 64108

Individuals who cannot make it to Kansas City can employ a local researcher on their behalf.

There are also specific third-party sites that offer Connecticut bankruptcy records to the public.

How Do I Find Out if My Bankruptcy Case is Closed in Connecticut?

To find out about the status of a bankruptcy case in Connecticut, interested persons may contact the appropriate court clerk. Case information such as case number, name(s) of the case filer, and so on will be required to check the status of a case.

Can a Bankruptcy Be Expunged in Connecticut?

In Connecticut, a bankruptcy case file cannot get expunged as this would infringe the right of the state residents to public records. Although an individual cannot get the document expunged, it is possible to get the court to seal it. In this case, the concerned party has to convince the court that the threat posed by not sealing the document overrides the public's right to the record.

Certain parts of a bankruptcy record are generally redacted to prevent the public from accessing the petitioner's confidential details. For example, the name of any minor child involved is written only in initials, and social security numbers (or any financial account number) are represented only by their last 4 digits. Interested persons should also note that bankruptcy case files kept for over 15 years are destroyed. This is pursuant to 44 USC Section 3303.

What is the Downside of Filing for Bankruptcy in Connecticut?

The most common downside of filing for bankruptcy in Connecticut is that debtors may lose their properties and assets. However, the disadvantages may differ depending on the type of bankruptcy filed. Other disadvantages of filing for bankruptcy in Connecticut include:

  • A decline in the credit score of the debtors.
  • Difficulty in obtaining new loans in the future.
  • It does not discharge all debts. Debtors may still pay debts such as tax debts, student loans, penalty payments, etc.
  • Difficulty in getting new employment opportunities.
  • Higher interest rates on new loans.

However, there are some advantages of filing for bankruptcy in Connecticut. Some of which may include:

  • It protects a debtor from the creditor’s harassment and other legal actions.
  • It presents a new beginning for debtors with discharged debts.
  • It allows debtors to gain access to financial counseling.
  • It protects the debtor’s properties and assets.

What is Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in Connecticut?

Chapter 11 in Connecticut is the type of bankruptcy available to organizations and other business entities to create a repayment plan to settle their debts. This form of bankruptcy allows debtors to restructure without having to shut down. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is also called Reorganization Bankruptcy. Individual debtors can also file a Chapter 11 as long as they are eligible.

Under Chapter 11, there are two types of petition - voluntary and involuntary petition. A voluntary petition is a situation where a debtor files the petition, while an involuntary petition requires the creditor to file it. Regardless of who is filing the petition, they are to file a disclosure statement along with the plan of reorganization. Debtors filing a Chapter 11 can take new loans to fund the business as well as bargain lower interest rates on initial loans. Chapter 11 bankruptcy may last ten years on the debtor's credit report.

What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Connecticut?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Connecticut is a form of bankruptcy that uses the proceeds of a debtor’s assets and properties to settle off the creditors’ debts. The process is known as liquidation. Under Chapter 7, the bankruptcy court in the District of Connecticut appoints a trustee who handles the sale of the debtor’s properties and assets not covered by exemptions. The trustee is charged with distributing the proceeds to the creditors. Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not offer debtors options to develop a repayment plan, unlike Chapter 11.

Interested persons, businesses, and partnerships can file for Chapter 7 in Connecticut. Under Chapter 7, interested parties are required to take a Mean Test to determine if they are eligible or not. The Mean Test takes into consideration the debtor’s secured and unsecured debts, expenses, incomes in comparison with the state’s median income. Debtors under the state’s median income can file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

This type of bankruptcy affords debtors a fresh start with the exempted properties and assets. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows some of the debts to be discharged. Debts such as income tax debts, personal loans, automobile loans, medical bills, and mortgage loans are eligible for discharge. However, court fees and penalties, student loans, alimony, and personal injury debts may not be discharged.

What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Connecticut?

In Connecticut, Chapter 13 bankruptcy provides debtors an option to reorganize their debts by developing a repayment plan. This type of bankruptcy is similar to the Chapter 11 bankruptcy. However, it is only available to individuals with a stable income. This is why Chapter 13 is also known as the Wage Earner Plan. Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, interested persons may retain possession and control of their assets and properties. The repayment plan for Chapter 13 is often set between 3 to 5 years.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is available to individuals whose unsecured debts and secured debts are less than $250,000 and $750,000 respectively. This is according to the United States Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. § 109(e). Note that, the unsecured and secured debts amount change according to the consumer price index.

Similar to other bankruptcies, individuals who file Chapter 13 are protected from the creditor. Therefore, all installments are paid to the trustee assigned by the bankruptcy court. The trustee then distributes the payments to the creditors. Co-signers to debt may be protected from repaying the debt under Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Filing for this type of bankruptcy means debtors may have the report reflected in their credit record of up to 7 years.

What is the Difference Between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Connecticut?

Some of the differences between a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy may include:

  • Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows debtors to liquidate their properties and assets to repay debts, while Chapter 13 offers debtors a repayment plan option.
  • Chapter 7 bankruptcy is available to individuals and organizations, while only individuals with regular incomes are eligible to file for Chapter 13.
  • Under Chapter 7, interested parties can file for bankruptcy regardless of the amount of debt owed, while Chapter 13 has a limit to the debts owed i.e the secured and unsecured debts.
  • Under Chapter 7, the proceeds of a debtor’s non-exempt properties and assets are used to repay creditors, while Chapter 13 allows debtors to develop a repayment plan between 3 to 5 years.
  • Under Chapter 7, debtors may lose most of their properties and assets, while Chapter 13 allows debtors to remain in control of their assets and properties.

What is Bankruptcy Protection in Connecticut?

Bankruptcy protection in Connecticut is the legal process that allows bankruptcy courts in the state to prevent a creditor from taking over the debtor’s properties or assets. The process is also known as an Automatic Stay. The automatic stay is triggered when a debtor successfully files for bankruptcy in Connecticut. The bankruptcy court in the District of Connecticut sends a notice of automatic stay to all listed creditors. This notice, therefore, prevents all forms of lawsuits, collections, repossessions, foreclosure, and any other legal actions. Creditors are also prohibited from contacting a debtor once a bankruptcy is filed.

What are Connecticut Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Connecticut bankruptcy exemptions are laws that allow a debtor to protect their properties and assets from a creditor. This can be either from liquidation or reorganization. Debtors who wish to file for bankruptcy in Connecticut are allowed to choose between the state’s exemptions and the federal exemptions. However, interested parties can only use any of the two exemptions and not both. That is, debtors are required to focus on either the state or federal exemption laws rather than handpick laws from both exemptions. Examples of the Connecticut bankruptcy exemptions include:

  • Homestead Exemption: Individuals can protect up to $75,000 of equity in their home when they file for bankruptcy. The homestead exemption applies to equity in real property, manufactured homes, or housing cooperatives. Couples can double the equity to $150,000 using the Connecticut homestead exemption.
  • Motor Vehicle Exemption: Debtors may exempt up to $3,500 in the equity available in a motor vehicle.
  • Personal Property Exemption: Debtors in Connecticut may exempt personal properties such as appliances, clothing, food, furniture, and bedding, wedding and engagement rings, spendthrift trust funds, burial plot, insurance proceeds, etc.
  • Public Benefit Exemption: Public benefit exemptions covered in Connecticut may include veterans' benefits, social security benefits, unemployment compensation, crime victim's compensation, aid to blind, aged, and disabled persons, etc.
  • Tools of Trade Exemption: Debtors may exempt tools, books, or farm animals needed to run their trade. Animals and the livestock needed to run a farm animal are exempted as long as 50% of the partners are family members.
  • Domestic Support: Debtors may get exemptions on alimony to the extent of wages and child support.
  • Wages Exemption: Debtors may be exempt 40 times the minimum wage or more than 75% of their weekly income.
  • Wildcard Exemption: Debtors may exempt up to $1,000 of any property when they use the state’s wildcard.

What are the Other Types of Bankruptcy in Connecticut?

The other types of bankruptcy in Connecticut include Chapter 9, Chapter 12, and Chapter 15. Depending on their eligibility status, debtors in the state can also file for these types of bankruptcy as opposed to the more popular types - Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13. Similar to other reorganization bankruptcy, Chapter 9 allows eligible debtors to develop repayment plans for their debts. Chapter 9 bankruptcy is available to counties, cities, towns, villages, schools districts, taxing districts, municipal utilities, etc. This type of bankruptcy is also called Municipal Bankruptcy. The reorganization of debts, under Chapter 9, provides the municipal the option to bargain favorable repayment plans by:

  • Negotiating lower principal and interest rate
  • Seeking extension for its debts maturity date
  • Taking new loans to fund the old debts

Chapter 12 bankruptcy is another type of bankruptcy available in Connecticut. However, this type of bankruptcy is designed for only family farmers and family fishermen with stable incomes. Instead of liquidating their assets and properties, it allows them to restructure and create a repayment plan. Debtors may spread the repayment plan by paying installments for 3 to 5 years.

Chapter 15, however, is a type of bankruptcy available to foreign debtors who wish to file for bankruptcy petitions in the United States. Chapter 15 bankruptcy allows individuals or business entities with properties and assets in the United and other countries to file for bankruptcy. The Chapter’s primary objective is to aid cooperation between the United States Courts and other foreign courts. It was added to the Bankruptcy Code in 2005.