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.
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.