Will Everybody in Atlanta Know That I Filed for Bankruptcy?

Even in an area as large as Atlanta, one of the many sources of worries for bankruptcy filers is whether other people will know about the filing. There are few things more private than our financial information, especially if we are experiencing financial difficulty. My clients often worry that their friends and neighbors will find out about their financial problems, exposing them to embarrassment and ridicule. Some even worry that an announcement about their bankruptcy will appear in the local paper. While bankruptcy filings are a matter of public record, these are by and large, groundless fears.

To help keep your fears in perspective, it is first important to keep in mind that yours is only one of an extremely large number of bankruptcy cases. Tens of thousands of bankruptcy cases are filed in the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia alone each year. Yours is probably not that exciting or newsworthy.

Even though your bankruptcy petition is public record, a person who wants to find the information would have to get the petition from the clerk of court, either by going to the courthouse or by accessing the court’s database electronically. Typically, only attorneys have access to the electronic database. Further, federal law requires some privacy safeguards. Your social security number cannot be shown in the public records, and your employer will not be notified about your bankruptcy, unless you willingly agree to allow your Chapter 13 payment to be made by payroll deduction.

Unfortunately, you should expect for the three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and Transunion) to be notified, and your credit report will show the bankruptcy.

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, please seek the advice of a qualified attorney. For a free consultation please contact the Law Offices of Charles Clapp at (404) 585-0040 or info@lawcmc.com.