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What are Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Records?

Pennsylvania bankruptcy records are the official court proceedings of bankruptcy cases filed by individuals or businesses in Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Courts. All bankruptcy cases are handled by federal courts in the state, as given by the U.S Bankruptcy Code, Title 11. In the State of Pennsylvania, there are 3 bankruptcy courts:

Bankruptcy records are managed by the courts with jurisdiction and can be inspected or copied by members of the public who request for the records. Third-party sites like also provide an efficient means to locate these records.

What do Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Records Contain?

Pennsylvania bankruptcy records contain the financial and business information of the debtors and creditors, and other related information. The details listed on the records may include:

  • Name of debtor
  • Case number
  • Trustee's name
  • Filing date
  • Type of the petition filed, and the chapter it was filed under
  • Name of the debtor's attorney
  • Phone number of the debtor's attorney
  • Name of the presiding judge
  • Name of the presiding court
  • Status of the case
  • Closing date
  • Assets in the case, if any
  • Case disposition

Are Bankruptcy Records Public Information?

Yes, bankruptcy records are presumed to be public information. Typically, members of the public can request to obtain copies or inspect these records, in paper or electronic forms, from the presiding courts. However, federal statutes restrict public access to sensitive information listed on these records. 11 U.S.C §107 and 11 U.S.C §112 provide specific information on bankruptcy records that may not be disclosed to protect parties with interest. They include:

  • Information on minors
  • Information that may cause undue risk of identity theft
  • Information that may result in the unlawful injury to an individual/individual's property
  • Any identification information contained in a case to be filed/filed under 18 U.S.C § 1028(d)
  • Trade secrets or confidential research
  • Scandalous or defamatory information

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

How to Get Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Records

Paper and electronic bankruptcy records are obtainable from the three bankruptcy courts in Pennsylvania. Not all methods require payment of a fee. Generally, there are three ways to obtain these records from the courts:

Attention: Multi-Court Exemptions
Court Programs Division
One Columbus Circle, N.E.
Washington, DC 20544

  • Phone: The United States Judiciary provides free access to basic information on bankruptcy cases. To obtain this information, interested parties may call (866) 222-8029. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • By request to the court (paper copies)

Find below the necessary information to obtain paper copies of records from each court:

  • The United States Bankruptcy Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania:

The Eastern District of Pennsylvania serves 9 counties and has two divisions. Requesters may view or obtain paper copies by contacting the Clerk of Court's office in the division where the case was filed. There is no fee attached to view these records but there is one to obtain copies. Below are the court's contact details:

Street Address
900 Market Street, Suite 400
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: (215) 408-2800 (Philadephia Division)
Phone: (610) 208-5040 (Reading Division)
Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Mailing Address
United States Bankruptcy Court
Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Robert N.C. Nix, Sr. Federal Courthouse
900 Market Street, Suite 400
Philadelphia, PA 19107

  • The United States Bankruptcy Court Middle District of Pennsylvania:

Interested parties may visit the Wilkes-Barre or Harrisburg offices of the Court during business hours to obtain physical copies of bankruptcy records. This request may also be made by mail. The requester is required to provide a contact phone number and the following information about the record:

  • Case number
  • Debtor's name
  • A clear indication of the document(s) required
  • Number of copies needed

It costs $.50 per page. This fee is payable by a check or money order to the Clerk, US Bankruptcy Court. Orders may be addressed to the following locations:

Wilkes-Barre Office (Street Address)
274 Max Rosenn U.S. Courthouse
197 South Main Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701
Phone: (570) 831-2500
Phone: (877) 298-2053 (Toll-Free)
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Wilkes-Barre Office (Mailing Address)
US Bankruptcy Court
Max Rosenn US Courthouse
197 South Main Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701

Harrisburg Office (Street Address)
Ronald Reagan Federal Building (directions (link is external))
228 Walnut Street, Room 320
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Phone: (717) 901-2800
Phone: (888) 531-9485 (Toll-Free)
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Harrisburg Office (Mailing Address)
US Bankruptcy Court
228 Walnut Street, Suite 320
Harrisburg, PA 17101

  • The United States Bankruptcy Court Western District of Pennsylvania:

Interested parties may search and view bankruptcy records for free at public kiosks at the Erie and Pittsburgh locations of the Western District of Pennsylvania Court. Below are the court's addresses:

Pittsburgh Office
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
5414 U.S. Steel Tower
600 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone: (412)644-2700
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Erie Office
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
U.S. Courthouse
Room B160
17 South Park Row
Erie, PA 16501
Phone; (814)464-9740
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Requesters may obtain paper copies of records filed before May 5, 2003, or closed more than 2 years ago, by request to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)'s The NARA Bankruptcy Cases Order Form may be used to make the order. Submission instructions are available on the form. The completed form may be sent online (for expedited orders), by mail, fax, or scan to NARA's Pennsylvania facility. Mail requests are payable by check or money order to the National Archives Trust Fund (NATF). The facility may also be contacted on (215) 305-2020 or (215) 305-2001 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for record request inquiries, except on federal holidays.

It is also possible to request from the court that archived the records. It costs $64 to retrieve these records from the court and $.50 per page for copies. Acceptable payment methods include certified check, money order, or attorney's check made out to the Clerk, U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

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

To find out if a bankruptcy case has been closed in Pennsylvania, interested parties may contact the Clerk of Court in the applicable bankruptcy court to make the inquiry.

Can a Bankruptcy be Expunged in Pennsylvania?

There is no indication that a bankruptcy case can be expunged in Pennsylvania. Ordinarily, federal bankruptcy laws protect the release of sensitive information to the public and provide relief to individuals and entities who fall under conditions set forth in 11 U.S.C §107 and 18 U.S.C § 1028(d). These conditions include:

  • To guard an entity's trade secrets, confidential research, development, or commercial information
  • Fraudulent filings
  • To prevent the disclosure of scandalous or defamatory information

In such cases, on request of the affected party, the presiding court has the statutory authority to protect the party by restricting or removing the information from the public record.

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