The decision to file for Bankruptcy is very personal and can be difficult. If your financial situation has taken a turn for the worse because your debt has gotten out of hand, you may feel overwhelmed or ashamed at your financial state. As a result, bankruptcy can feel like a failure that you don’t want anyone to know about.
However, it is important to understand that the stigma of financial failure surrounding bankruptcy is generally not true. Many people choose to file bankruptcy as a way to have a fresh financial start after difficult life events—such as health problems, lost work, or divorce—have resulted in overwhelming debt. Bankruptcy is a way to help them get back on their feet and move toward a more stable financial future.
Still, because personal finances and the decision to file for bankruptcy is a personal one, you may want to know who will be informed about your filing.
Creditors and Court Staff
If you decided to file for bankruptcy, your creditors will know. When you file your bankruptcy, the Court sends out a notice to your creditors. They are notified so they can attend the 341 creditor’s meeting if they would like to. This is the meeting where you will be assigned to a Trustee who will ask you questions. Creditors can attend to ask you questions as well, though most never do. As a result of this meeting, court staff—the trustee, court schedulers, etc.—as well as your creditors will know of your decision to file. Later on, a bankruptcy Judge will eventually review your case, and thus will also be aware of your filing.
Technically, Bankruptcy is a matter of public record. This means that it is possible for your bankruptcy filing to be seen and even publicized. This does not typically happen unless the person is a public figure, but some local newspapers are known to publish this information. However, this information is generally only accessed by attorneys through an online PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) account.
Depending on what type of bankruptcy you choose to file, your bankruptcy will appear on your credit report for a number of years. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy with stay on your report for 10 years, and Chapter 13 bankruptcies generally stay on the report for 7 years. This means anyone who needs access to your credit report will see that you have filed for bankruptcy in the past.
Benefits of Filing for Bankruptcy
Filing for bankruptcy can seem frightening, especially if you don’t want others to know about your financial situation. However, remember that filing for bankruptcy does not mean failure—rather it is often a calculated and responsible decision by a person who is choosing to get a fresh start so they can have a stable and successful financial future.
If you are considering filing a Georgia bankruptcy, but need answers to your questions or concerns, contact the experienced bankruptcy attorneys at The Ballard Law Group. We can meet with you during a free case consultation to get your questions answered and help you determine how bankruptcy can benefit your situation. Call us today at (404) 800-9939 to schedule your free initial consultation.