July 6, 2016

Will my Bankruptcy Filing Be Public?

While it is perfectly legal and is an important part of our economic system, bankruptcy still carries a stigma for many people. Interestingly, this perceived stigma is often directed at themselves but not at other people – put another way, while many people don’t judge others for filing for bankruptcy, they may not want to file for bankruptcy themselves.

If this sounds familiar, you may be one of the people who could benefit greatly from bankruptcy but are hesitant to file because they are worried about others finding out. While it is true that your bankruptcy filing will be part of the public record, this does not mean that news about your bankruptcy will be published in your local newspaper or reported by your local TV news, unless you are famous.

Public Record Simply Means that Court Documents are Viewable

When a legal matter is part of the public record, it means that members of the general public are allowed to access certain filings. The way that these documents are made accessible depends on your jurisdiction. For example, one town may not publish any documents online and require that anyone seeking to view documents come down to the local courthouse and request them in person.

On the other hand, certain jurisdictions make certain filings available online while limiting access to others to attorneys or law enforcement personnel. As a result, how accessible information about your bankruptcy filing will be depends largely on where you file.

Public Access Should Not Stop You from Making a Good Decision

First of all, there is little risk that your nosy neighbors or coworkers will take the time to look you up and delve into the particulars of your bankruptcy filing. Even if they did, however, it is important to remember that there is no shame in taking advantage of the protections offered by the bankruptcy code.

Bankruptcy can help people who have gotten in over their heads with debt obtain a fresh financial start, and what other people think about the decision to file should not stop you from doing what is best for you and your family. In many cases, your financial situation can improve the moment you file, so there is no reason to delay.

Call 610-255-7500 today for a free consultation

If you are having trouble meeting your financial obligations and have debts that are hanging over your head, bankruptcy may be able to help. To discuss your options with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer, call Michael Siddons today at 610-255-7500.