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Nebraska Bankruptcy Records
Bankruptcy in Nebraska
Bankruptcy in Nebraska refers to the set of federal rules and laws that are used to aid people and businesses who cannot pay their creditors. When an earnest debtor files for bankruptcy in Nebraska, they are allowed to pay their creditors back by selling their assets. The debtor can also organize a payment plan to pay the debt in installments. The debtor is also protected from harassment and financial hardship by the bankruptcy laws. Bankruptcy filing and hearings take place at any of the Bankruptcy Court locations for the U.S District of Nebraska.
State courts have no jurisdiction over bankruptcy cases so the ideal place to file for bankruptcy would be the closest bankruptcy court location. This is usually the one closest to where the debtor has the business’s main office or principal asset. When selecting the chapter of bankruptcy code to file under, debtors should consider their overall circumstances and the desired conclusion.
What are Nebraska Bankruptcy Records?
Bankruptcy records in Nebraska contain all the documents and information generated in the course of a bankruptcy case. Records may include certificates, notices, forms, statements, petitions, tests, financial records, and bankruptcy discharge orders. Bankruptcy helps indebted persons and troubled businesses who can no longer meet financial obligations to obtain debt relief and repay creditors through asset liquidation or reorganization. There are different types of bankruptcy processes available to debtors, each addressed in other Bankruptcy Code chapters. A debtor may initiate bankruptcy proceedings for whichever type suits the debtor’s purposes.
The United States Bankruptcy Code governs the bankruptcy process. Since bankruptcy is not subject to state laws, Nebraska state courts do not hear bankruptcy cases. There are federal courts designated exclusively for bankruptcy cases. The bankruptcy court in Nebraska is called the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nebraska. The court has locations in Lincoln and Omaha. The US Bankruptcy Clerk maintains bankruptcy records in Nebraska and makes the records available to requesting parties in person, by email, over the phone, or by mail. Interested parties may also obtain public bankruptcy information from third-party websites.
What Do Nebraska Bankruptcy Records Contain?
Nebraska bankruptcy records contain information and documents that pertain to bankruptcy cases. Bankruptcy records span from the beginning to the end of a bankruptcy process when the court grants a discharge. Bankruptcy laws require petitioners to take credit counseling courses 180 days before filing for bankruptcy. The debtor must also take a debtor education course from approved agencies. Bankruptcy forms, petitions, notices, means-testing records, credit counseling courses, debtor education completion certificates, and other supplementary information are included in bankruptcy records. Additional information a requester can expect to find in a bankruptcy record include:
- Case number
- Filing date
- Debtor’s name
- Debtor’s detailed financial information, including bank account statements
- List of debtor’s liabilities and assets
- List of creditors, creditors’ contact details, and the amount owed to each creditor
- Judge name
- Trustee name
Are Bankruptcy Records Public Information?
Bankruptcy records are generated and maintained in the federal court system and are therefore public information. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) ensures that records generated or maintained by government agencies are available to the public. The law exists to promote transparency in governance and to ensure that citizens are well informed. It is important to note that sealed bankruptcy records are not public information. Confidential information, such as the record holder’s social security number, is also not public information. Sealed records and confidential information are only accessible to authorized persons such as the record holder and other authorized persons specified by federal laws. Bankruptcy records are not subject to state privacy laws since bankruptcy is a federal process.
Record seekers looking for an alternative to government sources may obtain bankruptcy records from third-party websites. These non-governmental websites often come with tools that help simplify the search for single or multiple records. However, record availability on third-party sites tends to vary because they’re independent of government sources. To obtain bankruptcy case information using third-party sites, record seekers may need to provide:
- A complete name of the debtor involved in the record
- A bankruptcy case number
Nebraska bankruptcy records document the bankruptcy filing and proceedings at the bankruptcy court in Nebraska. The records usually contain the financial and personal details of the debtors and those of the creditors. It will also contain the documents filed as evidence and any other relevant case information. Under U.S code 11 U.S.C. § 107, the bankruptcy court creates and maintains records of all cases filed which are considered public records. Bankruptcy records can be obtained in person, by mail, or by email from the Clerk’s Office at any of the bankruptcy court locations in Nebraska. The records can also be obtained online from the federal court’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service. Another option for locating bankruptcy records online is by using any of the numerous third-party records websites.
How to Get Nebraska Bankruptcy Records
In Nebraska, the US Bankruptcy Court makes court records available to requesting parties by mail, phone, email, and in person. Interested parties may visit the US Bankruptcy Clerk’s office to make records requests. Requesting parties may search for bankruptcy records using the public access terminals in the clerk’s office. Requesting parties may also print records from the public access terminals at $0.10 per page. Copies of records that are not in the public access terminals cost $0.50 per page. The clerk’s office also charges $31 for record searches. The Bankruptcy Clerk’s office does not accept cash payments. Acceptable payment methods include:
- Debit and credit cards
- Money orders
- Cashier’s checks
- Business checks
To find Nebraska bankruptcy records online, requesting parties may use PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records). Users must register to access court records. Also, record searches on PACER cost $0.10 per page; however, charges are billed quarterly. Users who do not accumulate up to $30 in a quarter will not have to pay any usage fees.
The Multi-Court Voice Case Information System (MCVIS) is also a means to get bankruptcy records in Nebraska. Requesting parties may dial (866) 222-8029 toll-free to get information about bankruptcy cases. Requesting parties may search using:
- Case number
- Case status
- Case chapter
- Debtor’s name
- Filing date
- Discharge date
- Debtor’s attorney
MCVIS provides bankruptcy information using voice prompts and at no cost to the requesting party and is available every day, except during scheduled maintenance.
Interested parties may also request bankruptcy records by sending a written request to NEBml_Documents@neb.uscourts.gov with contact information. Requesting parties must pay applicable fees before the court sends the requested record. Pro Se debtors may not submit email requests, especially if such debtors have a pending case. The debtor’s attorney may submit email requests on the debtor’s behalf.
To receive bankruptcy records by mail, interested parties may mail written requests to the US bankruptcy court in Nebraska along with the requesting party’s phone number, self-addressed envelope, and payment.
How Do I Find Out if My Bankruptcy Case is Closed in Nebraska?
Typically, case status is part of bankruptcy records. Interested parties may request bankruptcy records to get case status information. Requesting parties may send requests to the Bankruptcy Clerk’s office by mail and by email. Alternatively, interested parties can get case status information online through PACER or third-party websites. Requesting parties may also obtain case status information through MCVIS. The phone service is available at no cost and at all hours of the day.
Can a Bankruptcy Be Expunged in Nebraska?
The Federal Bankruptcy Code does not provide for expungement. It is therefore impossible to expunge bankruptcy records in Nebraska. However, persons named on a bankruptcy record may file a motion to seal bankruptcy records. When the court seals a record, it is no longer accessible to the public. Only authorized persons, such as the record holder, the record holder’s attorney, and other court-authorized agencies, may access sealed records.
What is the Downside of Filing for Bankruptcy in Nebraska?
There are a few downsides to filing for bankruptcy, one of them is the loss of credit cards and other lines of credit. Banks and credit cards will immediately cancel all credit cards and lines of credit to the debtor immediately they receive notice of the filing. A debtor's credit score will also be affected depending on what type of bankruptcy was filed. Most likely the debtor’s credit score will be affected negatively but it depends on how high it was before the filing. Debtors who initially have high credit scores will be affected a lot more negatively than people with average or low credit scores before filing for bankruptcy. Other downsides to filing for bankruptcy include:
- The debtor’s financial records become public records when they file for bankruptcy
- Bankruptcy affects your records and credit reports for between 7 to 10years
- The stigma of bankruptcy makes it more difficult to obtain employment and housing as landlords and employers may deny applications because of recent bankruptcies.
- Difficulty in securing mortgages, insurance, and loans after filing
- Liquidation of property and assets to pay debts (if chapter 7 bankruptcy is filed)
- All nonexempt and non-dischargeable debt must still be paid in full.
What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Nebraska?
During chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debtor pays off his debts with the proceeds of selling or liquidating all his non-exempt assets and property. The court hands over all the assets to a trustee who will oversee the process of selling them and paying off the creditors. For this reason, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is commonly known as liquidation or straight bankruptcy. In most cases filing for chapter 7 can clear almost all the debt and provide the debtor with a fresh start. It does not take too much time and is usually complete in a few months.
Do I Qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Nebraska?
For a debtor to be eligible to file chapter 7 bankruptcy in Nebraska their annual income must fall under the median income for Nebraska. According to U.S census data, this annual income for a one-person household in Nebraska is $50,847. Any debtor or resident whose income is more than that must take a means test to qualify for chapter 7. The means test calculates the average monthly income for the last six months before filing, if it is less than the median they can file chapter 7. If not they can take the second part of the means test which subtracts their monthly living expenses from the average monthly income. If the disposable income at the end of the calculation is too low to pay the debts under chapter 13 the debtor qualifies for chapter 7.
Filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy in Nebraska will include the following steps:
- Check if you qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy
- Gather all the necessary financial documents
- Take the first credit counseling course
- Obtain and fill out the bankruptcy forms
- Pay the filing fees and file the forms at the court (make copies of all documents first)
- Mail copies of all documents you filed to your appointed trustee
- Take the second bankruptcy counseling course
- Attend the 341 creditors meeting with the appointed trustee
What is Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in Nebraska?
Under the U.S bankruptcy code, chapter 11 bankruptcy is a form of bankruptcy that allows a debtor to pay debts by reorganization and restructuring. It is usually filed by large corporations or individuals who possess a large company and lots of assets. This form of bankruptcy gives the debtor time to create a plan to repay all debts including secured and unsecured debts, and priority debts. This plan must be approved by the creditors and the courts before it can be put into action.
The reorganization or restructuring plan for paying the debt may include negotiations of the terms of the debt and interest. It could also include reducing assets and downsizing a
company workforce to release funds. This form of bankruptcy provides an opportunity for the debtor to pay his debts but still remain in possession of his company and assets.
Who Files for a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in Nebraska?
Chapter 11 bankruptcy is usually filed by debtors but up to three creditors can come together in a committee to file against a defaulting debtor. Whoever files for bankruptcy, the debtor will be given some time to come up with the reorganization plan. It usually takes a while to file because of the process of coming up with an adequate plan that satisfies all parties involved. The debtor is given between four and eighteen months to come up with a repayment plan. If they are unable to do so in that time the creditors will be given the task to prepare the repayment plan.
Why File for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in Nebraska?
A chapter 11 or reorganization bankruptcy is sometimes the best option because it allows the debtor to reorganize and negotiate aspects of their debt. This may lead to some positive gains for the debtor such as reduced interest and monthly installments. Reorganization may even allow the debtor to pay less than the original debt if the play provides for paying some debts partially. The main benefit is that though most major decisions require court oversight the debtor remains in control of the business. This allows the company to pay its debts and try to be profitable at the same time. In addition to large corporations and limited liability companies, individuals with lots of assets are allowed to file for chapter 13. This is a better option for debtors who want to avoid the total liquidation of assets they could face if they file for chapter 7.
What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Nebraska?
Nebraska debtors who file for chapter 13 bankruptcy are allowed to pay their debts via a strictly supervised payment plan over several years. Only private individuals and sole proprietors of businesses may file for chapter 13, large companies and corporations may not. Depending on a debtor’s current and future income, a debt repayment plan lasting three to five years will be submitted. It is a good alternative for a debtor who wants to avoid chapter 7 and the liquidation of assets it entails. This form of bankruptcy will allow individuals who file to keep hold of property and assets that would have been sold to pay the debts.
Do I Qualify for a Nebraska Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
There are several conditions for a debtor in Nebraska to qualify to file for chapter 13 bankruptcy. Some of these conditions are:
- The debtor must work, live, or own property in Nebraska
- The debtor must have a regular source of income
- The debtor qualifies if their unsecured debts are less than $419,275 and their secured debt is less than $1,257,850. (figures as of April 2019)
- The debtor’s monthly disposable income must be able to cover the monthly debt payments according to the payment plan.
- The debtor must have been filing taxes for at least four years before filing for chapter 13
Filing for chapter 13 can help stop a house foreclosure and stop interest piling on tax debts. The length of the payment plan is between 36 and 60 months. The exact amount to be paid and the time frame is determined by several factors including the debtor’s disposable income. Most forms of income including wages and benefits may be used to pay the debts. At the end of the payment plan, as long as the debtor was diligent with his payments, all remaining dischargeable debts will be written off.
What is the Difference Between a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Nebraska?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy differs from chapter 13 in several aspects including their duration and the way debtor’s assets and property are handled. The requirements to be eligible also differ for each form of bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is settled quickly and is usually over in four months, in contrast, the chapter 13 repayment plan takes 3 to 5 years. While a debtor filing chapter 13 can keep his assets, one who files chapter 7 will have their assets liquidated. The assets are handed over to a court-appointed trustee who oversees the sale and uses the proceeds from the sale to pay the creditors. Only individuals and sole proprietors may file for chapter 13 but chapter 7 is also open to companies and large corporations.
What is Bankruptcy Protection in Nebraska?
Bankruptcy protection is the placing of an automatic stay by the bankruptcy court after a debtor successfully files for bankruptcy. Creditors will be notified by the court of the automatic stay which prevents them from contacting the debtor directly or seizing their assets or property. The automatic stay prevents all forms of debt collection, evictions, repossessions, wage garnishments, calls, letters, and notifications. Bankruptcy protection can last between 3 months and 5 years depending on the form of bankruptcy that was filed. Any creditor who willingly violates the automatic stay will suffer various penalties including the following:
- The creditors may pay sanctions and fines from the court
- The creditors may be asked to pay punitive damages to the debtor
- They may be asked to pay court and attorney fees
What are Nebraska Bankruptcy Exemptions?
Nebraska bankruptcy exemptions are a list of assets and property that can be protected from liquidation or creditors when a debtor files for bankruptcy. There are a set of state exemptions and a set of federal exemptions according to the bankruptcy code. Usually, a debtor is allowed to choose which set to choose from. However, debtors that file for bankruptcy in Nebraska are only permitted to use Nebraska bankruptcy exemptions. Nebraska bankruptcy exemptions according to the Nebraska Revised Statutes include the following:
- Nebraska Homestead Exemption: Nebraska allows a debtor to exempt up to $60,000 in the equity of a home and the land it is on. The holds as long as the land does not exceed 160 acres outside a town or city and two plots inside it. $60,000 from the proceeds of the sale of a home is also exempt for 6 months after the sale.
- Nebraska Motor Vehicle Exemption: Nebraska allows the exemption of $5,000 of the value of a vehicle. Each debtor can only use this exemption for one vehicle.
- Nebraska Health Savings Account Exemption: Nebraska allows an exemption of $25,000 in any health savings accounts set aside for future medical bills.
- Nebraska Tools of the Trade Exemption: A debtor can exempt up to $5,000 in tools and equipment used in a trade or profession. This exemption cannot be used on a car.
- Wild Card Exemption: The Nebraska wild card exemption allows you to protect $5,000 worth of any personal property that does not fall under real estate or wages.
- Wage Exemption: Nebraska allows a debtor to exempt 75% of all earned but unpaid wages or 30 times the federal minimum wage. This amount increases to 85% for the head of the household.
- Pensions and Benefits: public benefits and pensions including military disability, workers compensations, disability benefits, and retirement benefits are exempt in Nebraska.
- Personal Property Exemptions: Debtors may exempt $3,000 worth of furniture and household items and an unlimited amount of personal items like clothes and any professionally prescribed health aids.
Other Types of Bankruptcy in Nebraska
Farmers in Nebraska that fall into debt can file for Chapter 12 bankruptcy. This is a form of reorganization bankruptcy created for family farmers, ranchers, and fishermen operating in Nebraska. It allows a farmer or fisherman in financial trouble to propose a plane to stay in business and pay all or part of their debts. The Chapter 12 bankruptcy process aims to combine various factors from other bankruptcies to suit the farmer's situation. It is designed to be less expensive, less complex, and more streamlined than some of the other forms of bankruptcy.