Who will know or find out about my bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy filings are technically a matter of public record. If you’re filing a bankruptcy in the District Court for the Southern District of Florida, it’s good to know that the Daily Business Review publishes all bankruptcy filings in their public records section. The only information available in these postings are a first and last name and a case number, so fears about the public getting your personal contact information from the news can be put to rest. bankruptcy and gavel

At one point in time, all bankruptcy cases would be published in a local newspaper. The details would, once again, be left to merely a name and a case number. The intention was for creditors to be able to find debt holders who were filing for bankruptcy so that they could add their balance to the case. But now, as the use of online portals has risen while newspaper subscriptions have declined, most bankruptcy districts prefer to list case information exclusively through online information portals.

It’s understandable to be concerned with who can view information on your financial history, but most of these concerns can be allayed by the fact that bankruptcy courts aim to protect the privacy of filers. While it is possible to make a public search of who is filing, doing so requires some amount of deliberate effort. When considering the negative aspects of some of your information being available to the public, always keep in mind your best long-term financial interests, as they should be the main priority.

Who is notified when I file bankruptcy?

In a significant majority of bankruptcy cases, the only people that need to be informed of your filing are those you owe money to — your creditors. In some other cases, your employer or landlord may need to be informed, as well.

Your Creditors

Anyone you owe money to should have been included as a creditor in your actual bankruptcy filing. This includes any individuals like family or friends, banks, lenders, credit card companies, or any other financial entity that lent you money. All of the creditors listed in your filing will be notified via a letter from the Clerk of the United States Bankruptcy Court at the time of your filing. 

In some cases, it is a good idea for you to inform your creditors of your decision to file for bankruptcy before you actually do so. Some may even be willing to work with you to lessen your debt or establish a more lenient repayment plan to increase the chance that they recover losses. Talking and strategizing with your Florida Treasure Coast bankruptcy lawyer is an important step to help you make a smart decision. In any case, once you file, creditors will be informed by the court of your legal action and be provided with information about your case as well as the actions they can and can’t take.

Your Employer

If you borrowed money from an employer and they’re listed as a creditor in your bankruptcy filing, they will be informed of your action the same as any of your other creditors. In rare cases where your wages are already being garnished and your bankruptcy ruling includes an order to put an end to it, your employer will need to know about the stop order for them to actually cease the garnishment. Obviously in this case your employer will already know a bit about your financial situation, and a notice of your bankruptcy and an order to stop garnishment will be unlikely to cause any waves.

Your Landlord

If you’re on a month-to-month payment schedule with your landlord, they will not be notified of your filing, and you won’t need to provide any information about your renting situation to the court. If you’ve signed a lease, you will need to list it in your bankruptcy filing since it is considered a form of financial obligation, and your landlord will be notified once you’ve filed. 

This will not affect your current lease, and you legally cannot be evicted for filing. As long as you stay current on your rent payments, your bankruptcy should not affect your living situation at all. Only if you already owe back money to your landlord will bankruptcy potentially affect your housing. An automatic stay may temporarily halt any of your landlord’s eviction efforts, but if you plan to stay long-term, you’ll need to work with them to catch up on unpaid rent. 

Who can find out that I filed for bankruptcy?

As explained earlier, all bankruptcy cases are entered into the public record. This means that there is no way to keep the basic information in your bankruptcy filing a secret from those who would seek to find it. But it’s exceedingly rare for a friend, family member, acquaintance, neighbor, or coworker to desire to find that information and then also go through the process to access it. 

Confidential information like credit card numbers and social security numbers are always omitted from the public records available through the federal website, so fears of identity theft or important personal information getting out tend to be unfounded. 

If someone runs a credit report on you, such as for certain jobs, if you’re looking to secure a loan, or if a job you’re applying for requires a credit check, you can expect that they will see that you filed for bankruptcy. This will be the case until 7 to 10 years after the date of filing, depending on which chapter you file under.

Seek an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney for your Florida Treasure Coast Case

Really, bankruptcy is nothing to be ashamed of and hundreds of thousands of people go through it every year. When you’re in a stressful financial situation, it’s sometimes the smartest option and should be given serious consideration. By seeking the help of a seasoned Florida bankruptcy attorney like Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd, you greatly improve the chances of getting through the process with a good outlook for the future.

Don’t let embarrassment about your financial situation keep you from improving it down the line. Give us a call at 866-460-1990 or contact us online for a free consultation to get started on your case today. 

We are a debt relief agency and attorneys. We help people file for Bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free information about our qualifications and experience.

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