Some of you may be considering filing for bankruptcy, but you are embarrassed about your financial condition and don’t want anyone to know about your filing. If that is the case, you may be interested in learning about those who might know about your bankruptcy case.
Odds are, unless you tell your family and friends, no one other than the workers at the bankruptcy court and your creditors are going to know you have filed for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy filings are public record but access to those records are not something the average person is going to go to the trouble to seek out.
When you file a bankruptcy, your name is entered into a database called Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER). Anyone can get access to PACER but they have to pay a regular fee to do so, and unless they have some kind of ongoing business with the courts, the average person will not access the program. In bankruptcy cases, usually attorneys and creditors are the only ones who will pay to view PACER. The only reason they will pay is because they have a reason for doing so.
So, where else might your name appear? Your name could appear in the Public Notices section of your local news paper. Not all newspapers publish bankruptcy filings, so it all depends on the newspaper in your local area. Just pick up a paper and see if bankruptcies are listed under that section. It is not likely to appear nowadays because of the cost to print the information. With the invention of the internet, newspapers are currently under extreme pressure to cut costs, and bankruptcies no longer carry the stigma it use to, so it is just not newsworthy. Small towns, desperate for any kind of news, might still carry bankruptcy information. Large city news is not likely to today.
What about television? The same thing applies to television that applies to newspapers. With the cost of television time rising continuously, it is not likely the television station will devote much time to individual bankruptcies. They might highlight an important local business bankruptcy that will impact the local economy, but unless you are a renown philanthropist in your community, your individual bankruptcy is not going to be newsworthy. Some small town markets may be more apt to disclose such public information, but again, it is not very likely.
Another possible but unlikely place for your bankruptcy to be publicly exposed comes when the Bankruptcy Court sends you mail. The return address and an official’s name are usually attached to any correspondence sent to you in the upper left hand corner of the envelope. The mail carrier may notice it himself or may accidentally deliver the mail to a neighbor. In any case, the mail won’t be opened and the purpose of the mailing would be speculation by anyone seeing the envelope. Attorneys and creditors receive mail from bankruptcy courts, and they are not the ones filing for bankruptcy.
The only other place you might be publicly exposed for filing a bankruptcy is at the 341 meeting. That is the meeting set up with the creditors and has a public forum where anyone can attend. Generally, no one attends the meeting outside of the attorneys and the debtor filing. It normally only takes a few minutes, and unless a creditor has cause to be at the meeting, they generally are not.
Will creditors spill the beans on you for filing bankruptcy? Not very likely. They are normally interested in one thing, knowing whether or not they will get any of their money back. Broadcasting bankruptcy news might be considered libelous, and most creditors do not want the public to know they have had issues with one of their customers anymore than you want the public to know the same thing.
Don’t allow fear of the unknown stop you from doing that which will provide you with a fresh financial start over. To alleviate those fears, you might want to consult with a bankruptcy lawyer who can help you understand how complex bankruptcy laws might apply to you.
If you determine you are in need of relief from the stress associated with debt and you live in or around the metropolitan area of Fresno, California, contact us here today at www.betterbankruptcy.com .We will help you find a bankruptcy attorney in your area that will help you with any questions you may have on bankruptcy law.
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