With so much personal information readily available online, many prospective bankruptcy clients are concerned about friends, family members, co-workers and employers learning of their bankruptcy filing. Privacy is important and many are concerned what others will think or how their career might possibly be effected by filing for bankruptcy protection.
The short answer is that bankruptcy filings are public record. If someone was determined and tried hard enough, they could find your case information online. However, this is very uncommon. Typically, only your creditors, the people to whom you owe money, will learn of your bankruptcy filing. There are some circumstances that would require you to notify friends or family members of your bankruptcy case.
Some of these circumstances include: money borrowed from friends or family that has not been repaid; a family member or friend that co-signed a loan with you; and a recipient of alimony or child support payments.
Perhaps discussing your impending bankruptcy filing with these individuals prior to filing will make the situation easier to deal with once your case has been filed. In regards to your employer learning of your bankruptcy filing, there are no laws that require a debtor to notify their employer of their bankruptcy filing. If a debtor is involved in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, an employer will be notified only if the debtor’s plan payments are to be made by payroll deduction. Employers cannot legally discriminate against an employee who has filed for bankruptcy. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy and are embarrassed or worried that people might find out, you can rest a little easier. In most cases, your friends, family members, co-workers and employer will not know that you filed for bankruptcy unless you discuss the matter directly with them.