Top 15 Lies About Bankruptcy. Lie #2: Everyone Will Know You Filed for Bankruptcy

24 Feb Top 15 Lies About Bankruptcy. Lie #2: Everyone Will Know You Filed for Bankruptcy

Top 15 Lies About Bankruptcy

Lie #2: Everyone Will Know You Filed for Bankruptcy


Unless you’re a prominent person or a major corporation and the filing is picked up by the mainstream media, the chances are very good that the only people who will ever know that you filed for bankruptcy are you, your attorney, your creditors and the people you personally tell.

While it’s true that your bankruptcy is a matter of public record, so many people have filed–5,652,969 between 2006 and 2010–unless someone is specifically trying to track down information on you, there is almost no likelihood that anyone will even know you filed.

Bankruptcy filings are NOT indexed by Google!

They are available–for a fee–by signing up for the PACER court docket service, which all bankruptcy lawyers and bill collectors subscribe to. PACER does NOT make its information available to internet search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo.

It used to be that a bankruptcy filing was news, because it (50 years ago) used to be a rare event, in part because the laws were far more restrictive and credit was relatively rare. (We forget that, until the 1970’s, the only credit that most people ever had was their mortgage and a car loan.) With the adoption of the modern bankruptcy code in 1978 and the rise of the credit card industry, what was rare became commonplace.

However, telling someone that someone else filed bankruptcy is still good gossip…just like telling a someone you heard so-and-so is getting a divorce. So, if you don’t want everyone you know to know you filed, you need to keep the information to yourself. As for newspapers, my experience is that very few papers include information about the tens or hundreds of thousands of private individuals who filed bankruptcy in recent years, and even if they did…who would be interested enough to read that stuff?

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Brett Weiss, a senior partner at The Weiss Law Group, LLC, represents people and businesses in all phases of bankruptcy. He has experience in complex individual Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, and in Chapter 11 small business restructuring and reorganization. Mr. Weiss lectures nationally on bankruptcy issues. He has testified before the Federal Bankruptcy Rules Committee, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and has twice testified before Congress on bankruptcy and credit issues. Brett Weiss is the co-author of Chapter 11 for Individual Debtors, and has written Not Dead Yet: Bankruptcy After BAPCPA, for the Maryland Bar Journal, as well as hundreds of blogs for the Bankruptcy Law Network. With his colleague, Daniel Press, he recorded a 13-hour basic bankruptcy training series, and leads intensive three-day Chapter 11 training boot camps. Mr. Weiss has received international media attention in connection with his work. He was interviewed by Barbara Walters on The View, has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, ABC News with Peter Jennings, the Montel Williams Show, National Public Radio, AARP-TV, the BBC World Service, German state television, and numerous local radio and television programs, and been quoted in Money magazine, The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun, among others. Brett Weiss is the previous Maryland State Chair for the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, a founding member of the Bankruptcy Law Network, on the board of the Maryland State Bar Consumer Bankruptcy Council, and a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and the Bankruptcy Bar Association of Maryland. He has received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys for his work on behalf of consumers across the country. Mr. Weiss is admitted to practice before Maryland and District of Columbia federal and state courts, the United States Courts of Appeals for the DC, Fourth and Eighth Circuits, the United States Tax Court, and the Supreme Court of the United States, and has been practicing law since 1983.
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