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Public Records Databases for the Bankruptcy Lawyer from LexisNexis® When to use them. Where to find them. What it costs to access them. By Elinor Reinhardt,

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Presentation on theme: "Public Records Databases for the Bankruptcy Lawyer from LexisNexis® When to use them. Where to find them. What it costs to access them. By Elinor Reinhardt,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Public Records Databases for the Bankruptcy Lawyer from LexisNexis® When to use them. Where to find them. What it costs to access them. By Elinor Reinhardt, Esq. LexisNexis Matthew Bender

2 When to Use Public Records Databases from LexisNexis  Scenario #1: Identify debtor’s assets  Scenario #2: Locate debts, judgments, liens and other liabilities  Scenario #3: Research prior bankruptcy filings

3 Scenario #1: Identify debtor’s assets  An accurate list of all assets is needed in order to ensure that property is properly listed as exempted (if applicable) and to ensure that the filing is entered under the correct Bankruptcy Code chapter.  The LexisNexis Public Records collection houses documents with information about people, properties, business and more in an easy-to- use interface.  LexisNexis Find Assets and Businesses databases include:  Real Property  Motor Vehicle Registrations/Title  Watercraft  FAA Aircraft  Blue Book Group File  Stock Information (including Stock Ownership)  Valuations (Aircraft, Marine, Vehicles)  Locate a Business (nationwide or statewide)  Experian Business Reports  And much more.

4 Scenario #1: Asset Finder Interface through Lexis.com ® Scenario #1: Asset Finder Interface through Lexis.com ®

5 Scenario #1: Business Finder Interface Through Lexis.com ® Scenario #1: Business Finder Interface Through Lexis.com ®

6 Scenario #2: Identify debts, judgments, liens and other liabilities Scenario #2: Identify debts, judgments, liens and other liabilities  Debts not reported may not be discharged under Chapter 7.  Incomplete or false information given under oath and contained on bankruptcy forms filed with the court may lead to the debtor losing his/her bankruptcy discharge as well as criminal prosecution.  Debtors who own real estate may be unaware that some of their debts are secured by mortgages, municipal liens or judgment liens. A lien search may also indicate other liens which the debtor does not remember or know about, and which may be avoided or otherwise dealt with in the bankruptcy.  LexisNexis Filings databases include:  Judgment and lien filings  UCC filings  Foreclosures  Civil and criminal court filings and regulatory actions  And much more.

7 Scenario #2: Filing Finder Interface Through Lexis.com ® Scenario #2: Filing Finder Interface Through Lexis.com ®

8 Scenario #3: Research prior bankruptcy filings Scenario #3: Research prior bankruptcy filings  Because it is now so easy to electronically check on prior filings, it is a good idea to have some verification of the debtor’s prior bankruptcy cases, or lack of them, in every case.  LexisNexis Filings databases include:  Personal and Business bankruptcy filings. Information includes chapter filed, disposition, attorney information, trustee information, whether or not assets are available, creditors meeting date and location, complaints and claims deadline information and more.  CourtLink provides access to actual bankruptcy petitions as well as to related documents, such as motions and orders.

9 Scenario #3: Research prior bankruptcy filings Scenario #3: Research prior bankruptcy filings

10 Scenario #3: Research prior bankruptcy filings Scenario #3: Research prior bankruptcy filings

11 Besides searching in individual databases, users also have the option to run Comprehensive Person, Business, or Location Reports, gathering data from multiple public records sources in one report. Comprehensive Person Reports contain information from the following asset- and debt-related sources:  Bankruptcy Filings  Employment Locator  FAA Aircraft  FAA Pilots  Foreclosures  Judgment and Liens  Motor Vehicles  Professional License  Real Property  UCCs  Watercraft SmartLinx® Searches: Comprehensive Person Reports

12 Business Summary Reports contain categories of descriptive information about that organization – including assets, addresses, associates, lien, bankruptcy and other information. It includes the following asset- and debt-related sources:  Aircraft Registrations  America Corporate Financial Directory  Bankruptcy Records  Liquor Licenses (CA, OH, PA, TX)  Corporations  Dun & Bradstreet  FAA Aircraft  FCC License  Judgments and Liens  Motor Vehicles  Professional License  Real Property  UCC  Watercraft SmartLinx® Searches: Comprehensive Business Reports

13 Example: Using LexisNexis databases in real life Example: Using LexisNexis databases in real life  Facts: A client, John Doe, wants to file for personal bankruptcy. Although the client has provided a list of assets and debts, you want to confirm this information.  Step 1: Through lexis.com®, go to the Public Records tab > Find Assets and select Real Property and run search with the debtor’s name (John Doe) and state (Ohio). See slides 14 – 16.  Step 2: Through lexis.com®, go to the Public Records tab > Find Filings and select Judgments & Liens. See slides 17 – 19.  Step 3: Through lexis.com®, go to the Public Records tab > Find Filings and select Bankruptcy Filings. See slides 20 – 22.

14 Step 1: Through Lexis.com ®, go to Public Records > Find Assets > Real Property

15 Step 1 (cont’d): Public Records > Find Assets > Real Property Search Screen

16 Step 1 (cont’d): Public Records > Find Assets > Real Property Results Screen

17 Step 2: Through Lexis.com ®, go to Public Records > Find Filings > Judgments & Liens

18 Step 2 (cont’d): Public Records > Find Filings > Judgments & Liens Search Screen

19 Step 2 (cont’d): Public Records > Find Filings > Judgments & Liens Results Screen

20 Step 3: Through Lexis.com ®, go to Public Records > Find Filings > Bankruptcy Filings

21 Step 3 (cont’d): Public Records > Find Filings > Bankruptcy Filings Search Screen

22 Step 3 (cont’d): Public Records > Find Filings > Bankruptcy Filings Results Screen

23 Where Do I Find These Databases and What Do They Cost to Access?  Visit our LexisONE site:  Scroll down to the second half of the page, and look for the list of our affordable online packages.  “Bankruptcy Public Records” helps you identify a debtor’s assets, debts, judgments, liens, UCC filings and other liabilities. Cost: $34 for 1 day / $55 for 1 week / $112 for 1 month  “Finder & Assets” helps you locate people, assets and businesses. Cost: $43 for 1 day / $70 for 1 week / $147 for 1 month

24 Other Public Records Providers Available on the Internet (Unaffiliated w/ LexisNexis)* Credit Reports: There are 3 major credit reporting agencies that may be contacted. Every consumer is entitled to 1 free copy of a credit report from each reporting agency through a centralized source authorized by the Federal Trade Commission via , or by mailing a completed Annual Credit Report Request Form (available at to Annual Credit Report Request Service / PO Box / Atlanta, GA www.annualcreditreport.comwww.ftc.gov/credit Basic credit reports may be obtained directly from any of the 3 national reporting companies for a small fee (usually under $10):  Experian.com: Contact online, by phone [ ], or mail at Experian / PO Box 2104 / Allen, TX  Equifax.com: Contact online, by phone at [ ], or mail at Equifax Information Services, LLC, / Disclosure Dep’t / PO Box / Atlanta, GA  Transunion.com: Contact online, by phone [ ], or by mail at Trans Union, LLC / P.O. Box 1000 / Chester, PA Credit report information is also available via the LexisNexis Collier TopForm Bankruptcy Filing Program portal, allowing users to purchase this data directly from CIN Legal (http://www.cinlegal.com/partners/lexisnexis/liability_information.aspx; costs vary between $20 - $65; no monthly minimum purchases) AND MicroBilt (http://www.microbilt.com/consumer-credit-report.aspx; costs approximately $10 but must purchase a guaranteed minimum number of reports monthly).http://www.cinlegal.com/partners/lexisnexis/liability_information.aspxhttp://www.microbilt.com/consumer-credit-report.aspx *Competitive data based on information available as of June 11, 2010

25 Other Public Records Providers Available on the Internet (Unaffiliated w/ LexisNexis)* Prior Filings, Liens, Foreclosures, Title Searches and Appraisal Reports: These reports are available through multiple vendors, including:  CIN Legal – Real Property Ownership Report: cost approximately $20  – cost varies from $ $ Asset Reports: An accurate list of all assets is needed in order to ensure that property is properly listed as exempted (if applicable) and to ensure that the filing is entered under the correct Bankruptcy Code chapter. Resources for this information include:  CIN Legal – Real Property Ownership Report: cost approximately $20  – cost varies from $ $ *Competitive data based on information available as of June 11, 2010

26 Other Public Records Providers Available on the Internet (Unaffiliated w/ LexisNexis)* Tax Information: For clients with significant tax debts, it is critical to know a variety of dates and amounts before decisions about bankruptcy strategy can be made. In some cases, waiting just a few days or weeks before filing can save the debtor thousands of dollars if the delay brings the debtor past a time period during which taxes are entitled to priority status or are nondischargeable. Besides timing, other issues or strategy may turn on whether and when tax liens were obtained. A federal tax return or transcript thereof, as well as recent pay stubs, will be needed in any event once the case is filed. Resources for this information include:  Tax transcripts may be purchased from CIN Legal (http://www.cinlegal.com/partners/lexisnexis/tax_transcripts.aspx). Cost is $11.http://www.cinlegal.com/partners/lexisnexis/tax_transcripts.aspx  Debtors may also request, free-of-charge, copies of their federal tax return information by calling or order by mail using IRS Form 4506T (Request for Transcript of Tax Return). IRS Form 4506T (Request for Transcript of Tax Return). *Competitive data based on information available as of June 11, 2010

27 Questions about these public records menus or any bankruptcy products from LexisNexis? Please contact Elinor Reinhardt, Esq., at or LexisNexis, lexis.com and the Knowledge Burst logo are registered trademarks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used under license. SmartLinx is a registered trademark of LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. Other products and services may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. Copyright 2010 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


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