How long does a bankruptcy stay on your record in Florida?

There is a lot to think about when considering bankruptcy, including the post-filing effects it may have on your life. It is important to remember that bankruptcy is a court proceeding, meaning that the cases are public record. Further, a filing will appear on your credit report for an average of 7-10 years.

Many people worry that someone may be able to see the specifics of their personal financial information in a public filing, but that information is limited, only accessible through a regulated site, and it must be paid for. The most likely way a person would find out that you filed for bankruptcy is if you fill out an application where a background and credit check are required.   


It is an overwhelming process to gather all of the information regarding a bankruptcy, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. There are experienced Florida bankruptcy lawyers in your area that are excited to help you! 

By having the right lawyer on your side, you can ensure that your legal interests are protected. Plus, you’ll have someone there to guide you through the bankruptcy process, including what to expect after your filing is completed.

How Bankruptcy Impacts Your Credit Report

Depending on the type of bankruptcy, if you successfully complete the process you will likely have all, or at least the majority, of your unsecured debt either fully paid or discharged. Regardless of if your debt comes from credit cards, loans, even medical bills or another source, your credit will be impacted for a number of years after filing because of a failure to pay.

Chapter 7 bankruptcies remain on your credit report for up to 10 years, and Chapter 13 filings are listed on your report for up to 7 years. This information will be listed on your publicly available records for up to 7 years, as well.

Note that the negative impact of these items is diminished over time. In other words, a filing that is 6 years old will have less effect compared to one that is 6 months old. Also, know that just because you have a negative mark on your credit history, it does not necessarily mean that there aren’t resources available to help you build your credit back up quickly and efficiently.

Completing a bankruptcy does not prevent you from acquiring new debt, either. The waiting time to apply for a new secured credit card is almost non-existent, and you can apply for a mortgage much sooner than the 7-10 year span the filing remains on your record. Overall, with planning and financial discipline, bankruptcy can be a beneficial option for someone overwhelmed with unsecured debt and who wants a chance to rebuild their credit and start a fresh financial chapter. 

Bankruptcy Is Public Record

One of the biggest concerns people have while they are considering bankruptcy is that the details of their proceedings will be available to the public. Yes, it is true: bankruptcy cases are resolved as court proceedings and will be available to the public. 

Know, however, that “publicly available” does not mean your name will be broadcast over the local news. While it’s true that some bankruptcy filings were listed in public papers in the past, particularly when it comes to notifying creditors of a pending filing, this practice has fallen out of fashion.

For the most part, your information is only accessible through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system. All U.S. states and many territories use PACER. Part of its records includes a bankruptcy schedule, updated by a clerk every time a bankruptcy petition is submitted. You can get more information on what kind of information is available to the community from your bankruptcy attorney and your local U.S. Bankruptcy Court Clerk. 

Can You Remove A Bankruptcy From Public Record?

Unfortunately, the short answer is no. There is currently no way to remove a bankruptcy from public records. While it will stay on your credit report for up to 10 years, it remains in public records indefinitely. 

Your bankruptcy record begins once you file a petition, and documents are uploaded to the PACER system. The Public Access To Court Electronic Records (PACER) system is exactly what it sounds like; a service providing electronic court records/documents to the people. This system offers instant access to over one billion court documents. 

The good news is that retrieving these documents is not free, and every page comes with a small processing fee. PACER relies on said user fees for maintenance costs and other upkeep, as no other income is generated from the system itself. Further, someone would have to know your full legal name and a few details about your filing, including its date and the court it was filed in, in order to reliably retrieve your specific record.

The only way to entirely remove a document from this public records system would be if there was a technical error on the page. 

Getting Loans And Rebuilding Credit After A Bankruptcy

Yes, it’s true, you can get a new secured credit card practically right after a debt discharge; though that doesn’t mean accumulating new debt is the most-advisable way back to a healthy credit score. 

Instead of trying to add new lines of credit to your name, focus on any remaining payments you still have for secured debts and other outstanding balances. Payment history makes up for 35% of your FICO score, so being responsible for repayment will help you considerably in the end. 

If you have had all of your debt discharged, or are financially ready to open a new line of credit, then getting your hands on a secured credit card will be the most beneficial next step. While these cards usually have a small deposit to open, there are also credit builder cards (which usually require no initial investment) that can aid in credit rebuilding.​​ These cards are usually seen as complementary, or, secondary lines of credit to boost the work you’re already doing. 

The best way to boost your credit fast, according to many financial experts, is to mix and match multiple types of credit, perhaps even taking out a small personal loan. If you aren’t comfortable taking out a loan, that’s perfectly okay; there are microloans that have monthly bills of less than $20. These microloans differ from traditional loans because you don’t get your money right then and there. Once you’ve finished your payment subscription (usually 6 months to 3 years), you’ll receive a lump sum payment (your loan), and it acts almost like a savings bond, but it builds credit at the same time! 

Find a Florida Bankruptcy Lawyer In Your Area

Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd have 5 locations in central Florida: 4 along the Treasure Coast, and one in Okeechobee. Our experienced Florida bankruptcy attorneys are intimately familiar with the process, and we are prepared to guide you through filing — and your new future that lies beyond.

Learn more about filing for bankruptcy and what to expect after successful completion of your bankruptcy plan during a free, no-obligation consultation. Contact us online or call (866) 930-6435 to schedule a free case review now.

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