Is Bankruptcy Public Knowledge?

By Teo Spengler

Unless you are famous or do something dramatic to make a splash, it is not likely that your bankruptcy filing will make front page headlines around the world. But bankruptcy filings are not secret either. They are public records, so anyone with sufficient motivation can learn the details about your bankruptcy filing.

Unless you are famous or do something dramatic to make a splash, it is not likely that your bankruptcy filing will make front page headlines around the world. But bankruptcy filings are not secret either. They are public records, so anyone with sufficient motivation can learn the details about your bankruptcy filing.

Bankruptcy Filing

Filing for bankruptcy is a little like making a will: the fact that you are thinking of taking this legal step remains completely confidential -- a matter between you and your attorney -- until the documents are filed with the appropriate court. Documents filed in the bankruptcy court, like almost all court filings, are public records.

Get a free, confidential bankruptcy evaluation. Learn More

Accessing Bankruptcy Records

Both the fact of a bankruptcy filing and the contents of documents filed in bankruptcy cases are matters of public record. Any member of the public can visit the clerk of the bankruptcy court during business hours and ask to see a person's bankruptcy file. It is also possible to access bankruptcy filings over the Internet by signing up for a PACER account from the federal court system.

Get a free, confidential bankruptcy evaluation. Learn More
How to Find Out if a Bankruptcy Filing Has Been Dismissed in Alabama

References

Related articles

How Long After Filing for Bankruptcy Is the Next Step?

In both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, the first step after filing the petition and other documentation is the creditors' meeting. Whether the debtor is filing for debt elimination under Chapter 7 or a repayment plan under Chapter 13 affects how many days pass between filing and the creditors' meeting, at which debtors answer questions about their financial situations from their creditors and the court trustee.

How to Amend Chapter 7 After it Has Been Filed

Filing for bankruptcy requires you to honestly state information regarding your financial situation, including your debts and current financial status. If you've made an error or circumstances have changed, you can amend the information contained in your filed bankruptcy petition or one of the bankruptcy schedules to include the omitted information. According to Rule 1009(a) of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, you can amend your bankruptcy paperwork at any time until the case is closed.

The Difference Between Voluntary & Involuntary Bankruptcy

A bankruptcy may be the only way to get out from under your debt, but it can have severe consequences on your credit score. When you think of bankruptcy, you most likely think of voluntary bankruptcy, which is initiated by an individual or business. But a bankruptcy may also be initiated by a creditor. This is known as an involuntary bankruptcy.

Related articles

The Advantages of Using a Lawyer for Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a legal status for which individuals and businesses may both file. Ultimately, individual debtors and ...

How to See If a Bankruptcy Has Been Discharged

When a person applies for a new loan or refinancing after bankruptcy, it is common for some lenders to want proof of ...

How Long Is an Automatic Stay After a Chapter 13 Dismissal?

Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy creates a repayment plan that allows you to catch up on debt by making monthly ...

What Is Open Bankruptcy?

A bankruptcy case that is currently underway is sometimes referred to as an open bankruptcy. In other words, an open ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED