Some people are ashamed that they have filed for bankruptcy and want to keep it private, and so they ask me if there is anything they can do to keep their bankruptcy filing private.  Unfortunately the filing of a bankruptcy is a public filing and is a matter of public record.

What is a public record? 

A public record is any information that is maintained by a government agency.   When a bankruptcy case is filed it is assigned a district in the United States Bankruptcy Court.  For clients filing in the Broward, Dade, or Palm Beach Counties the district is the Southern District of Florida.   While most of your bankruptcy petition is available as a public record, information such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, or any sensitive information will not be made public.

Will family members find out that you filed for bankruptcy?

More likely than not, your family members will not find out that you have filed for bankruptcy UNLESS you owed them money and listed them on your bankruptcy petition.    Family members that you owe money to must be listed on your bankruptcy petition and they will receive notice

Will my bankruptcy filing be reported in the newspaper?

Depending on the district where you file your case, there is a chance that your bankruptcy case may be published in a local newspaper.  Published in the local newspaper basically means that it will display Jones, Tom case: 11-49944 Southern District of Florida.   If you file for bankruptcy in the Southern District of Florida then your filing will be reported in the Daily Business Review public records section.

If you are thinking of filing for bankruptcy and would like to speak with a local bankruptcy lawyer then please contact Shmucher Law, PL by calling 305.741.5553 or 954.309.5559.  We offer free consultations in our main Miami office, as well as at any of our satellite offices (by appointment) including Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Plantation, and Sunrise Florida.