Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan Stone answers the question “How do I file for bankruptcy?”
Deciding to file for bankruptcy can be an incredibly hard decision-making process. You’re likely stressed about paying bills, worried by repeated calls from creditors and maybe even embarrassed about the difficult financial situation you find yourself in. Don’t be. Thousands of people file for bankruptcy each and every year and that doesn’t make them bad people, just people who have been dealt a bad hand and find themselves owing more than they’re taking in.
One thing that you may worry about is if you move forward with filing for bankruptcy, will the records be made public? A common worry is that if the records are public, you could be judged by others, such as friends, family members or future employers, with the records looming over you for decades to come. Though you may naturally want to limit the number of people who know about your filing bankruptcy, the reality is that records are public. Let’s discuss what this means in a bit more detail.
When your case is officially filed in bankruptcy court, it will become a public record at that point. The bankruptcy court website includes a section that lists some basic information about cases, including the case name and number, upcoming court dates, motions that have been filed, contact information for the bankruptcy trustee and even the names of creditors that are involved in the case.
Though this may sound like an alarming amount of information to be publicly available, it is critical to understand that just because information is technically deemed “public” does not mean that the public will actually know the details. Think about it. How many times have you logged onto the bankruptcy court’s website to peruse the latest listings? Likely never. The same thing goes for most people. Just because the records are available does not mean your bankruptcy case will become public knowledge.
In fact, to find this information you’ll need to register online to get access to the bankruptcy court’s database and will even need to spend money to access and print the documents. The fact that registration is required and fees are involved would eliminate all but the most insistently curious people from following up. The point is that for the vast majority of people, these records will never be noticed as they would need to go well out of their way to dig them up.
Casual acquaintances or family members likely don’t continually search the bankruptcy database with a list of names in an attempt to see if someone they know files. Instead, the people who may find out are those who have an interest in the information. This includes people like your lenders or your bank. For other ordinary people, there is relatively little risk that the details of your case will become widely known. As a result, you shouldn’t add fear of public disclosure to your already lengthy list of stressors, you likely have enough things on your plate already.
If you find yourself needing the services of a Charlotte, North Carolina bankruptcy attorney, please call the skilled lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC find additional resources here. As professionals who are experienced at handling all kinds of bankruptcy matters, our attorneys will provide you with the best advice for your particular situation.
About the Author
Kyle Frost joined Arnold & Smith, PLLC in 2013 where he focuses his practice on all aspects of civil litigation and bankruptcy, including: Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 13, home loan modifications and landlord-tenant issues.
Born and raised in upstate New York, Mr. Frost attended the University at Albany on a Presidential Scholarship, graduating magna cum laude with a double major in Political Science and Sociology. He went on to attended Wake Forest University School of Law in Winston Salem, North Carolina.
Following college, Mr. Frost spent over a year teaching English in South Korea. He worked in a private school in Seoul developing curriculum, English programs, and educating both children and adults that were interested in learning a new language.
In his spare time, Mr. Frost enjoys homebrewing, fishing, and travelling.
See Our Related Video from our YouTube channel:
See Our Related Blog Posts: