When you file for bankruptcy, your bankruptcy case does become a public record. No matter the type of case Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 it can be part of a public record. However that doesn’t mean that it’s simple, free and easy to get the information for your family and friends to look at whenever they want. The online database for bankruptcy records is called PACER. This system has bankruptcy records and requires both registration and payment per document page before anyone is granted access to the information contained on that site. Its not cheap to access these records.
The PACER system is really intended for bankruptcy professionals and others with a real interest in those records. It would be very unusual for your next door neighbor or boss to know about your bankruptcy (unless you told them firsthand or owe them money), or for them to go to the trouble and effort required to access information about your case. On the other hand, it’s important to note that your credit report will include your bankruptcy filing for up to a decade. So when you apply for certain things such as loans or credit, the company accessing your credit report will know that you’ve filed for bankruptcy before. Other types of creditors that might have this type of credit reporting information might be if you apply to rent a home or apartment and they may ask if you have ever declared bankruptcy, so it’s important to be prepared for that as well.
Bottom line is the fact that some people may find out about your bankruptcy case but that should ultimately matters less than the fresh start that you will be able to experience once you’ve filed. Regardless of what others may say or think this is your financial future we are dealing with and in the end you need to make the choice that is in you best financial interest. Do not let the fear that bankruptcy cases public record trouble you or who might find out about your bankruptcy stop you from filing and getting freedom from your creditors.