Many people feel a range of emotions during the bankruptcy process, and it's important to understand that there's no right or wrong way to feel. Although filing for bankruptcy may seem like a step back, it has the ability to change your financial future. Remember that bankruptcy is financial planning for the future, and if done properly, it can provide you with a brighter financial future.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your bankruptcy, chances are, you don't want the entire world to know. Although filing for bankruptcy is nothing to be ashamed of, it's not unreasonable to want to keep your bankruptcy private. Many people worry that their name will be in the newspaper when they file for bankruptcy. Although this was done in the past, newspapers no longer have an interest in publishing the names of people who file for bankruptcy.
Will My Name Be in the Newspaper?
In the past, many newspapers published the names of people who filed for bankruptcy. I do not know of a good reason why they published the names and no-one at several papers I called could give me a reason other than: "this is the way we have always done it." At one point, it may have been a good way to notify creditors since there wasn't a good system in place. Now, we have an electronic notification system in place, and creditors get notified almost immediately when someone files for bankruptcy.
Newspapers no longer have an interest in publishing the names of people who file for bankruptcy because it takes up valuable space – such as the space for advertisements. Additionally, most bankruptcies involve relatively small pools of cash and assets, and to newspapers, this isn't considered newsworthy. Although there may be some small-town newspapers that still publish names in the newspaper, none of the papers in Southwest and Central Florida still do this.
Are Bankruptcies Public Record?
It's important to understand that filing for bankruptcy is public record, and it is possible that someone could access bankruptcy court records and view the documents related to your bankruptcy filing. The meeting of creditors is also a public forum, meaning that anyone can attend. Does this mean that your creditors and neighbors will tell everyone that you filed for bankruptcy? Probably not. Unless you're a celebrity, most people won't care that you're filing for bankruptcy, and subsequently, it won't appear in any newspaper or magazine. My experience has been that once you file and someone finds out - they usually want to ask questions for themselves.
Of course, future lenders and creditors will care about your bankruptcy, and they'll be able to see it on your credit report. However, there are steps you can take to rebuild your credit after bankruptcy in order to minimize your bankruptcy's impact on your financial future.
Just the thought of word getting out that you're filing for bankruptcy is scary for many people, but remember – knowledge is power, and it allows you to take control of your situation. It's possible to go through your entire bankruptcy without anyone ever finding out. Even if someone does find out, it's not the end of the world. Ultimately, you need to be comfortable with the decision to file for bankruptcy and not worry about what others may think about your financial situation. Bankruptcy gives you the opportunity to take control of your financial situation and to make a positive change in your financial future. Most importantly, know that you are not alone in this journey.