Although filing bankruptcy is not illegal or immoral, most people would prefer to not tell the world of their financial problems. Specifically, many debtors are concerned about their family, co-workers, and neighbors finding out about the bankruptcy.
As such, a common question asked by clients regards their ability to keep their bankruptcy filing private. My response is often a combination of both legal and practical advice.
From a legal perspective, bankruptcy is a public filing, and thus information on everyone who files bankruptcy is available to the public. In addition, as you are required to list all your creditors in your filing, so if you owe money to a friend or family member, they will receive notice of the filing.
That being said, unless the debtor is a business or a public figure, the daily or weekly newspaper or television, (at least in Western Massachusetts,) is not going to report on the bankruptcy filing. Accordingly, although a bankruptcy filing is technically public, in most cases, as long as your friends, family, and co-workers are not creditors, they will generally not find out about the bankruptcy.
by: Justin H. Dion, Esq.