Bankruptcy Public Records

There are negative consequences to consider when declaring bankruptcy, but are bankruptcy public records among these concerns? Should someone avoid declaring bankruptcy because he doesn’t want his financial reputation or standing in the community to be damaged?

There are many people who are reluctant to declare bankruptcy even though they face an overwhelming amount of credit card debt (or other kinds of consumer debt). This is certainly understandable, since filing Chapter 7 should be taken seriously as it will have long-term negative effects. These effects include a lower credit score and difficulty getting credit for some time. In addition, your petition will become a matter of public record, and this is one particular concern for many people.

Many of your family members and close friends may disapprove of your bankruptcy petition because they believe you have an obligation to pay your debts or are afraid of the shame it may bring on the family. However, bankruptcy is legitimately pursued by many Americans in order to obtain a second chance and rebuild their financial futures. The United States has a long history of recognizing the need for honest citizens to have access to debt relief in the form of bankruptcy.

Yes, your filing will be a matter of public record and can be discovered by anyone who is interested enough in your financial life. However, it is unlikely that anyone would find out unless you live in a small town where this kind of information is published. Moreover, your employer does not need to be notified and is not allowed to discriminate against you or fire you because you have filed Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.

The worst-case scenario is that some family members (especially parents from an older generation) may disapprove of your decision. However, you need to make the choice regarding whether to file bankruptcy based on what is best for you and your family. Can you see yourself paying off all your debts in the next three years while living a reasonable lifestyle? If the answer is yes, then you may have better options than declaring bankruptcy.

However, if the answer to the above question is no, then you should seriously consider filing in order to eliminate your debt load and get a fresh financial start. You should speak to an experienced bankruptcy attorney instead of simply relying on the well-intentioned opinions of your family and friends.

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