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Maine Court Records

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What are Maine Bankruptcy Records?

Maine bankruptcy records are court documents that provide information on bankruptcy filings in the State of Maine. Bankruptcy records typically detail the finances and personal data of the petitioner. The information in bankruptcy records includes a petitioner's gross incomes, income sources, real and personal properties, assets, and investments. The records also include creditor information, such as names, addresses, and amounts owed.

Bankruptcy cases in Maine are under federal jurisdiction, and proceedings occur in federal court. The United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Maine has jurisdiction over all state bankruptcy proceedings.

Like other states, Maine bankruptcy records are case files and court docket information retained by the courts where the cases were heard. The records are moved to the National Archives after a certain period, typically 2-3 years. Persons trying to retrieve bankruptcy records or find Maine court records pertaining to bankruptcy proceedings must have the correct information to facilitate the record search, whether from the court or National Archives. Case files are identified by case numbers, petitioners' names, and filing dates. 

Records for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Maine can also be accessed electronically through Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER), the Bankruptcy Court Case Management/Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) system, or Multi-Court Voice Case Information System (McVCIS). Some third-party websites also provide access to bankruptcy records.

What do Maine Bankruptcy Records Contain?

A typical bankruptcy record from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Maine will detail the petitioner's information, including legal name, date of birth, sex, and current address. The records will also contain the petitioner's financial details, including incomes, expenses, assets, debts, and creditor information. Other information included in a bankruptcy record is the case number, date of filing, the judge assigned the cases, and the bankruptcy chapter filed.

Bankruptcy records will also state if the bankruptcy filing was voluntary or as a result of a court order or legal mandate (involuntary). Details on the bankruptcy trustee assigned to the cases, information about the 341 meetings, the status of the case, and disposition will be provided in the record as well.

Are Bankruptcy Records Public Information?

All bankruptcy records are public information available for viewing and copying by interested individuals. This is because bankruptcy cases, as federal court proceedings, are matters of public record and, therefore, available under the Freedom of Information Act. Individuals can search and retrieve Maine bankruptcy records online using PACER or visit the court clerk's office in Maine and search for the records via the public access terminals. The only bankruptcy records that are restricted from public access are records that a judge sealed at disposition.

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 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 of government sources and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

How to Get Maine Bankruptcy Records?

Members of the public can get Maine bankruptcy records from any of the following sources:

PACER: The PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) system facilitates public access to bankruptcy case information. PACER allows the public to access court documents electronically. Interested parties must register beforehand to use the service. Note that there are fees payable to obtain records from PACER.

MCVCIS: Multi-Court Voice Case Information System provides access to search and retrieve case information using a touch-tone telephone. Individuals can dial into the court's database anytime to obtain information about bankruptcy cases for free. The information available includes debtor names, case numbers, presiding judges, filing dates, filing chapters, asset/no asset designations, attorneys, trustees, and case status. To use the service, call (866) 222-8029 and follow the voice prompts to select Maine as the state where the bankruptcy was filed. Using the phone's touchpad:

  • Select 1 to hear instructions
  • Select 2 to search by case number
  • Select 3 to search by a petitioner's name
  • Select 4 to search by a social security number or tax I.D. number

The automated system will return all the available information on the desired bankruptcy case. A caller is allowed to search up to 5 cases per call.

Courthouse: Bankruptcy records can be obtained at the courthouse through public access terminals or the clerk's office. Interested persons can use the terminals to search and view Maine bankruptcy records. There is a fee of $0.10 per page for printing copies of bankruptcy records from these computers. The clerk's office also mails copies of bankruptcy records to persons who submit mail requests and pay the necessary fees. There is a $0.50 per page charge payable if the court staff photocopies the records. Certification of copies of bankruptcy records costs $11 for each record. 

The bankruptcy courthouses can be found at the addresses below:

Portland

U.S. Bankruptcy Court

District of Maine

537 Congress Street, 2nd Floor

Portland, ME 04101

Phone: (207) 780-3482

Fax: (207) 780-3679

 

Bangor

U.S. Bankruptcy Court

District of Maine

MC Smith Federal Building

202 Harlow Street, 3rd Floor

Bangor, ME 04401

Phone: (207) 945-0348

Fax: (207) 945-0304

Archives: The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) maintains archived bankruptcy records for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Maine. The requester can either order directly from the relevant Federal Resource Center (FRC) or order through the court to obtain these records. Court-ordered records are delivered to the clerk's office. Typically, a requester will be notified once the records arrive.

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

There are a few ways to check if a bankruptcy case has been closed in Maine. These include:

  • Closing order notice: This is a formal notice informing a petitioner that the court has closed the bankruptcy case. It signifies that a judge has ascertained that the debtor has met all obligations in the bankruptcy proceedings. The notice can be sent to the petitioner or their attorney. 
  • PACER: Registered users can verify the status of their bankruptcy cases by using PACER to retrieve the information.
  • MCVCIS: Individuals can call the voice case information system at (866) 222-8029 to know the status of bankruptcy cases.
  • CM/ECF – Registered users can use the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Maine to view the status of a bankruptcy case.

Can a Bankruptcy be Expunged in Maine?

The federal statute that regulates bankruptcy processes and procedures makes no provisions for the expungement or removal of records from the public record. Bankruptcy records cannot be expunged or restricted from public access. The only exception to this is if the records were sealed by court order.

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