Who Will Know I Filed for Bankruptcy?
Filing for bankruptcy can be stressful. Even though the process will help relieve your debt in the end, that does not mean you don’t feel the pressure of having such a huge financial burden in the first place. One thing a lot of people wonder is: how public the fact that they filed bankruptcy will be? Who will have access to this information? Here is everything you need to know about bankruptcy privacy.
Who Legally Has To Know About Bankruptcy?
Aside from your lawyer, the only people that the law requires to know about your bankruptcy is your creditors. This includes everyone you have borrowed money from. They have to know you are filing for bankruptcy because they are required to put an automatic stay on your account. This means the creditors stop collecting debt while you file. In some cases this includes your landlord if you are behind on rent payments.
Strangely enough, creditors have to be told that you filed bankruptcy whether the money you owe them is eligible for forgiveness or not. For example, student loan debt is not erased by bankruptcy. You are still legally required to let your student loan provider know that you are filing for bankruptcy. Don’t worry about the ins and outs of this law. As long as your attorney knows everyone to whom you owe money, they will handle it.
Because creditors will be informed, any cosigners you have on loans will also know about your bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy should not affect their credit in any negative way as long as the proper procedure is followed. Employers will only be alerted to your filing for bankruptcy if part of your repayment plan involves money being deducted directly from your wages.
Who Else May Find Out?
Technically, all filed bankruptcy reports are in the public record. This means that anyone may read them, if they wish to, on the website Public Access to Court Electronic Records. In reality, few people care enough to go digging through bankruptcy records. Most of the time, only lawyers actually access these types of files. The information is not free to access, either. You have to create an account, which costs money. In all likelihood, the only people who will know you are filing for bankruptcy are those you tell yourself.
Credit Reports and Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy has to be listed on your credit report. Under chapter 13, it will be there for seven years. If you filed bankruptcy with chapter 7, it will stay on your credit report for 10 years. This is the most likely way that people could find out that you filed for bankruptcy. Anyone who runs a credit report on you, like landlords, employers, and loan providers, will be able to see that you filed. You can attach a note explaining your circumstances, or you can let the information speak for itself. While this can have a negative impact on your credit, do not let it prevent you from filing if you are in desperate financial trouble.
Need Help Filing for Bankruptcy?
If you are considering bankruptcy, it is best to get an expert’s advice. A bankruptcy attorney can help you figure out if filing is right for you and what type of bankruptcy to file for. They can also assist you throughout the process so that everything goes as smoothly as possible. Bartifay Law Offices has been helping Pennsylvanians with bankruptcy since 1993. Their services are fair and trustworthy. To set up a free consultation with an attorney at Bartifay Law, call (412) 824-4011, or visit them online.