Who is going to find out that I filed bankruptcy?

spyHopefully no one you know.

However, lots of people and businesses will find out.  On the day we file bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court sends out a notice to all of your creditors that you have filed for bankruptcy.  Generally, if you don’t list a creditor in your bankruptcy, that debt doesn’t get discharged, so you want the list to be thorough.

If you are being garnished, then we send a “stop garnishment” letter to your employer’s payroll or human resources office to stop the garnishment.  This means that your employer will probably find out about the bankruptcy.

You will receive notices from the bankruptcy court in your mail, which means that anyone else who sees your mail, including your kids or nosy mother who came over to visit for the weekend may see the bankruptcy notices.  So, if anyone sees your opened mail on the kitchen counter, then they will find out about the bankruptcy.

The bankruptcy court notice is also a public document which is posted on a poorly formatted list at the court website, but very few people know about this.  It is posted here, and then you go to “Public Resources” and then “Recent Case Filings,” for a case list of cases filed that day.  See Appendix A below for a sample.

You may see someone you know at the 341 Meeting.  I have had women in the same relief society presidency meet each other in court and then awkwardly hug the other, saying, “funny meeting you here.  I had no idea.”

Any attorney who has PACER access (online court login access to federal court access) can look it up online.

Anyone who runs a credit check on you will see the bankruptcy under your “Public Filings” section of your report.

That being said, normally, no one knows that you filed for bankruptcy.  Most of my clients go on with their lives without their friends or family knowing the financial hellstorm (or crapfest, you pick the appropriate term) that they just experienced.

Only one time in my career have I had a bankruptcy disclosure become ugly:  my clients filed for bankruptcy, and the next week, their drill team daughter arrives at school, goes to the locker room, and finds a copy of her parent’s bankruptcy petition printed off and taped to the front of her locker.  She was horrified, and no one ever confessed.  This is very, very rare, and just awful.

So, to sum it up, hopefully no one will find out, but there is a good chance that the following people will know:

1.  your creditors

2.  your kids and nosy parents

3.  your employer

4.  people who check the bankruptcy case filings list on the bankruptcy court website

4.  people you recognize in court

5.  inquisitive attorneys with PACER access

6.  anyone who runs a credit check on you.

This is not legal advice.  If you need help, go to www.robertspaynelaw.com.

Appendix A:

The daily court list looks like this:

                             DISTRICT OF UTAH
                            Case Filings Report                     Page 1
                        For Cases Filed: 01/24/2014
                      Report Date: 01/25/2014 0:10
CASE NO.    TITLE                              JDG  ATTY        TRUSTEE   CHAP NOD*
----------  ---------------------------------  ---  ----------  --------  ---- ---

BK cases:
14-20712    Gabriel Beltran                    JTM              Anders K  13   C
14-20713    Kaisa Paula Kinikini and Ana Naom  JTM              Hunt t M  7    C
14-20714    Richard Daniel Sandoval            JTM  Long S      Anders K  13   C
14-20715    Alex Nicholas Proestakis           JTM  Jones T     Anders K  13   C
14-20716    Robyn Price                        JTM  Winward E   Anders K  13   C
14-20717    Steven Ray Walker and Laurie Jo W  JTM  Weekes R    Anders K  13   C
14-20718    Carrol K. Perry                    WTT              West t D  7    C
14-20719    Jason A Penney                     JTM  x2Pearso J  Anders K  13   C
14-20720    Kody William Carling and Rachelle  JTM  Barrett D   Bird t J  7    C
14-20721    Victor Zepeda and Veronica Zepeda  JTM              Bailey S  7    C
14-20722    Jeffrey Lynn Hall and Wendy Jean   WTT  Ruesch B    West t D  7    C
14-20723    Rusty Duane Price                  JTM              Jones  P  7    C
14-20724    Deysi Quiroga                      JTM              Hunt t M  7    C
14-20725    Richard Lloyd Dewey                JTM              Anders K  13   C
14-20726    Saul Mendoza Montes                JTM              Anders K  13   C
14-20727    Andrew J Harris                    JTM              Anders K  13   C
14-20728    Joseph Burton Shandrew             JTM              Anders K  13   C
14-20729    Aaron Michael Krause and Sarah El  JTM  Jones T     Bird t J  7    C
14-20730    Mary Frances Roberts               WTT  Baxter R    Bailey S  7    C
14-20731    Gregory William Buckley and Gayle  JTM  Hagen J     Rupp t S  7    C
14-20732    Daniel Thomas Oler and Joanie Mar  JTM  Curtis A    Jones  P  7    C
14-20733    Jennifer Pyles                     JTM  Helgesen C  Bailey S  7    C
14-20734    Emma Gabito Hultquist              JTM  Harris L    Anders K  13   C
14-20735    James L. McCoy                     JTM  Berry D     Anders K  13   C
14-20736    Tom Harris                         JTM  Adams L     Anders K  13   C

Leave a Reply