How to Find Bankruptcy Records in Hawaii
Before deciding to file for bankruptcy and receiving remuneration, one should understand that it's better to file for bankruptcy only after a process of intense thought. Only if bankruptcy is the best way to deal with financial problems, it should be utilized ideally.
Since the right to file for bankruptcy in the United States is governed by federal law, all bankruptcy cases are handled in federal courts. In Hawaii, all bankruptcy cases are handled in the District Court, located in downtown Honolulu.
It's important to first understand when one should file for bankruptcy. There are different types of bankruptcies to file for also. The first is chapter 7 bankruptcy. Reasons for filing for this are often unemployment, medical expenses, marital issues (where one has to provide alimony and child support), and for a lot of people, overly extended credit. It is often referred to as a "straight bankruptcy".
This allows one to liquidate their assets and in doing so, allows them to pay off their debt, especially to creditors like banks. The other is chapter 13 bankruptcy, and this is mostly for people who would like to keep their property. It allows people to pay their debts over a period; usually three to five years, and for people who have consistent income, it allows them a grace period post which, any debts which are still necessary to clear are discharged.
Also, once this type of bankruptcy is approved by the federal court, people are sheltered against creditors who constantly contact them. The individuals must work hard to clear their debts though, but they can keep their properties and other heavy possessions (like cars).
How to Get Bankruptcy Records in Hawaii?
There are a few ways to access bankruptcy records in the State of Hawaii, the first of course via the internet. All documents in cases filed since January 1998 are available on the internet due to the Bankruptcy Court in Hawaii. People using the Public Access to Court Electronic Records, also known as PACER, will be able to access their bankruptcy records.
This is not free, however, it is the most accessible way to retrieve documents as one can do it from the comfort of their own homes, and it is easier for people who do not live in Oahu. Moreover, a PACER account also allows you access to dockets of other federal courts across the United States. This can be accessed via the following link: https://www.pacer.gov/
The Voice Case Information System (or VCIS) is another method to receive bankruptcy records. It allows you to call the Bankruptcy Court's computer from what has been described as a touch-tone phone, and it gives the case information over the telephone using a synthesized voice. Moreover, it is free of charge and is available 24x7.
Since the information comes via a computer, it is up to date on all the information. Call (866) 222-8029 and say the name of the state where you'd like to access records (in this case, Hawaii), and following the instructions of the voice, one can access their case information.
At the Clerk's office at the court, Computers are available for the use of the public to retrieve case information. While there are no charges to view the cases and the data required, documents can be printed for about 10 cents per page. The court is open from Monday to Friday - 8:30 am to 12:00 pm and from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
To access any archived cases, the San Francisco Federal Records Center must be directly contacted, or they can be requested through the Clerk's office in Honolulu. If you are going through the court, there are small fees, however, this will ensure that you will get official copies of these files