How to Check a Business to See If They Filed Chapter 11

By Faith O

To check if a business has filed Chapter 11 you will need to access the docket of the federal bankruptcy court for the district where the company is located or where it was registered. The U.S. bankruptcy court is within the federal judiciary system. Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows a company overwhelmed by debt to reorganize and keep the business in operation while paying off creditors over time.

Find out the official name of the business and where it is registered. It is not uncommon for businesses to be registered outside of the state where they primarily do business. You can confirm this information at the secretary of state's office.

Find the bankruptcy court for your jurisdiction and its location.

If you want to access the court information online, follow the links to find case information from the court's page. Each bankruptcy court maintains its own database of cases. You will need to register for the Public Access to Court Records (PACER) system. Registration is free and you will only be charged when you use the system, which costs 8 cents per page as of 2009. The most convenient way to register is with a credit card. Once you have a PACER login and password, you can access court records for federal district, appellate and bankruptcy courts.

Go to the court in person. Most courts have computer terminals for accessing case information. You will need government-issued identification to gain access to federal buildings.

About the Author

Faith O has covered politics and general news in Washington DC, Chicago and Maryland. Her writing has appeared in the Associated Press, Prince George's Sentinel, Northwest Indiana Times, Chicago Defender and Daily Southtown, among others. She has a Masters of Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School and a Bachelor's degree from Hampshire College in Amherst.

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