What are Florida Bankruptcy Records?
In Florida, bankruptcy records are documents outlining information on individuals and businesses that have filed for bankruptcy under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Bankruptcy courts are federal courts that have jurisdictions over all bankruptcy claims and filings in Florida. Florida bankruptcy courts are responsible for the filing, maintenance, and dissemination of bankruptcy records that are made available to the public upon request. The U.S. Bankruptcy Courts of Florida are:
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida, which offers:
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Florida, which offers:
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida, which offers:
These courts provide case information, court records, filing and fee information, and information regarding the judge assigned to the case. Florida bankruptcy records can also be obtained through third-party websites such as Florida specific.
What do Florida Bankruptcy Records Contain?
After an individual's request for a Florida bankruptcy record is approved, the individual should expect the following information to be included in the record:
- Sources of income
- Gross income
- Assets' values
- Mortgage statements
- Bank statements
- Tax forms
- Vehicle documentation and insurance records
- Properties and businesses
- Creditors' information and claims
- The date of filing
- If applicable, alimony, child support, or any marriage settlements
Are Bankruptcy Records Public Information?
Florida bankruptcy records are available to the public upon request. That said, the court may redact certain information regarding the individual's personal information held within the record, such as social security numbers or bank account numbers listed in the bank statements. Details regarding minors held within these documents will also be redacted before the records are disseminated.
As per Florida Statutes Chapter 119, state policies dictate what information within bankruptcy records are made available to the public and what information is exempt. The statue also outlines how and when government agencies should respond and disseminate these records.
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 Florida Bankruptcy Records
Florida bankruptcy records are not available from the clerks of county courts, but by contacting the U.S. Bankruptcy Court where the case was filed in-person or by mail. Requesting parties must fill out a written request form to the specific courthouse. It is necessary to include all relevant information within this request regarding the individual or company being examined. The addresses and contact information of these courts are as follows:
Northern District of Florida Bankruptcy Courts:
401 SE First Ave.
Gainesville, FL 32601
30 W. Government St.
Panama City, Florida 32401
100 N. Palafox St.
Pensacola, FL 32502
110 East Park Ave., Suite 100
Tallahassee, Florida 32301
Middle District of Florida Bankruptcy Courts:
2110 First St.
Fort Myers, Florida 33901
Note that this location does not accept bankruptcy filings
300 N. Hogan St., Suite 3-150
Jacksonville, Florida 32202
400 W. Washington St., Suite 5100
Orlando, FL 32801
801 N. Florida Ave., Suite 555
Tampa, Florida 33602
Southern District of Florida Bankruptcy Courts:
301 N. Miami Ave.
Miami, FL 33128
299 E. Broward Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
1515 N. Flagler Drive
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Individuals can access bankruptcy records online remotely as well as using Florida's filing system known as Public Access To Court Electronic Records, or PACER. This program requires a fee depending on which court the requesting party wishes to access records from. Individuals can visit the PACER Service Center or call (800) 676-6856 to make requests through PACER. The courthouses in Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa provide public terminals for accessing these records free of charge.
There are also options for individuals to access bankruptcy records over the phone using the Voice Case Information System or VCIS. This program allows parties to call (866) 222-8029 ext. # 91 to hear the most current case information over the phone for free.
Florida bankruptcy cases that have been archived are typically held in the Middle District of Florida archives. It is possible to access these archived records from the Federal Records Center (FRC).
How do I Find Out if My Bankruptcy Case is Closed in Florida?
Florida residents can use the PACER program to track the status of a bankruptcy case or claim. This program is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and allows individuals to keep track of case summaries and docket information regarding one's bankruptcy case and docket details. PACER is a national database that not only operates in Florida but also allows users to access information regarding claims from all over the country. It is also possible to contact or visit the courthouse where the claim was filed.
Can a Bankruptcy be Expunged in Florida?
To expunge a bankruptcy record in Florida, individuals or companies must file a motion to expunge the specific documents. However, these requests are frequently denied for up to 10 years after the case was filed, meaning that the bankruptcy record will remain public record. To file a motion for expungement, make a written request, and mail it to the specific bankruptcy court where the case was filed. Although bankruptcy records are often not entirely expunged upon request, sensitive information regarding financial details and information about minors will be redacted from them.