Many New York residents who are contemplating bankruptcy worry that their friends, family, and employer will find out, causing them to lose respect and even their job.
The bad news is that your bankruptcy filing is a public record, meaning that anyone can look it up—provided they know about it in the first place. In most cases, the only parties who will know that you filed for bankruptcy are:
- Your attorney
- The trustee
- The creditors
- The bankruptcy judge and court staff
Are bankruptcies published in newspapers?
Although people often fear that news of their filing will be published in the local paper, this is rarely if ever done anymore. At one time, publication was a means of notifying creditors, but these days they receive notice by mail. If you own a business or have valuable assets, then there’s always the possibility that your bankruptcy details could appear in trade reports aimed at bankers, but it’s not likely. Unless you are a high-profile public figure, the chances are that the only people who know about your bankruptcy are the ones who need to.
Can friends and family find out?
Unless you inform them, your friends and family will typically only find out about your filing if you owe them money (making them a creditor) or they cosigned one of the debts included in your bankruptcy, which now makes them solely responsible for paying it.
What about employers?
In general, your employer will not need to know about your bankruptcy, especially if you file for Chapter 7, unless they are a creditor or responsible for a debt. In certain Chapter 13 cases, though, some payments may be required to be paid through a wage deduction. In that case, your employer will learn that you declared bankruptcy when the payroll department receives the paperwork. This arrangement is not always necessary with Chapter 13, though, and if it is in your case, your trustee may waive the requirement if it could foreseeably cause employment problems for you.
What about landlords?
Your landlord doesn’t need to be informed unless you have leased a residential property, in which case they will have to be notified whether you are keeping the lease or including it in the bankruptcy. If you owe money to them in back rent, then they technically become a creditor, and will receive notice along with all other parties you are indebted to.
If you have questions or concerns over who will discover that you have filed for bankruptcy, then you should discuss them with your New York bankruptcy attorney. Your attorney will explain any notification requirements so that you understand what to expect and can prepare accordingly if someone you know is someone who needs to know. Call the law offices of Jayson Lutzky, P.C. to learn more about bankruptcy and to set up a free in-office initial consultation with the attorney. Mr. Lutzky has a Bronx office and has helped many clients over the past 34 years regain their financial freedom. Call 718-329-9500 to learn more or visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com.