How to Look Up a Bankruptcy


To look up a bankruptcy -- which is public record -- you need access to PACER -- Pubic Access to Court Electronic Records. Any person can apply for a PACER account. PACER charges $0.08 cents per page to view or download records, and it allows users to look up case and docket information from the Federal Appellate District, in addition to bankruptcy courts. Each jurisdiction has its own URL for PACER, as each court maintains its own databases and case information. PACER is a service of the United States Judiciary, and the Service Center is operated by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.

Things You'll Need

  • PACER account
  • Fill out the online registration form, located at You may also contact the PACER Service Center by calling it at 800-676-6856 between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Central time. Registration is free. Once you are registered, you will receive a login and password.

  • Visit your jurisdiction's bankruptcy court website. Click the CM/ECF login or the PACER login. If you only have a choice of CM/ECF login, once you click the link, you are given a choice to log into PACER or the CM/ECF area, which is where attorneys file bankruptcy cases.

  • Search by party name or by case number. If you know the party's Social Security number, you may also access a bankruptcy case with that. There is a charge for searching. For example, if you search for Doe, J, and receive two pages of matches, the system will charge you $0.16. If you search by case number and select the docket option, the system charges you for the number of pages. For example, if the docket for the case you are viewing is 10 pages, PACER will charge you $0.80 to view the docket.

  • Click a document number to view the document. Each document filed is given a document number. The document will open in PDF format. If the scanned document is five pages, PACER will charge you $0.40 to view the document.


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