Bankruptcies are a matter of public record in Utah. You can search a person's public records online at home or at the Utah District Court.
Some public record searching systems require you to pay a fee, but there are several that will allow you to do a search for free and receive limited details about public records attached to the person's name. If you want to see details of the public record pulled from these types of sites, you will have to pay a fee. If you search public records at the District Court, there is no fee.
Searching Records at the Utah District Court
Go to the Utah District Court at: United States District Court, District of Utah 350 South Main Street, Room 150 Salt Lake City, UT 84101 Some other state courts have access to the system where federal court records are kept. Check with the state district court in your area to see if they have access.
Ask the court clerk to direct you to the computer where the PACER system is loaded. The clerk may have to use a login, depending on how much the system has been used that day. PACER is the system the US courts use to electronically file all federal cases by docket, or case, number.
Type in the name of the person you want to search records for and hit "enter." All of the public records under that person's name will come up, so look for records containing the word "bankruptcy." If more than one bankruptcy comes up under that person's name, verify the address and compare. Some people have multiple bankruptcy records, but some people might also have the same name as the person for whose information you are searching.
Verify the information you found with the person you did the search on. If there is a mistake and you found a record that belongs to someone else, you should know.
Searching for Bankruptcy Records at Home
Choose the online record search service you will use. There are several available that assist you in making sure you have the right person associated with the name you search. The PACER system used in the district court is also available for use at home for a fee.
Type in the name of the person you are searching about, select "Utah" from the "location" dropdown menu and hit "enter." This process is standard for several of the record-searching sites.
Look through the name and record results to choose the likeliest one. Most record-searching sites will filter the results into potential matches by name. Select the most likely match and see if there are any possible bankruptcy matches. Click on the record if it says it is a possible bankruptcy.
Choose the payment package based on the number of records you plan to search and how detailed of a record you want to view. Some sites offer a discounted fee if you sign up for a free trial of their services. Some websites allow you to pay per search and others require you to sign up for a term membership. PACER requires a login and charges 8 cents (as of June 2010) per page viewed, but you have to be approved in order to use the system from home. You can register on the PACER website.
The PACER system can be difficult to navigate, but it is far less expensive than using a record searching website. Record searching website services do charge higher fees than using the PACER system, but they make it easier to navigate the search results and give a simpler breakdown of what is in the public records that come up.
The PACER system has strict guidelines for use. Violating these guidelines is against the law and can result in criminal charges and fines.
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