Bankruptcy records are kept by the federal courts, electronically filed, and are released for public access. Although this information isn’t always free, it will show up on your public record for many to see.
Filing for bankruptcy is a difficult time for anyone, but it’s often necessary to get people back on their feet and “start over.” Due to the stigma associated with those who file for bankruptcy, many people wonder if these bankruptcy records will show up in their public record. Likewise, they wonder what information it will show exactly.
When you file for bankruptcy, a notice is immediately sent to your creditors, co-debtors, all of the major credit bureaus, and even your spouse if you owe child support. In addition, anyone running a credit check will also be able to view your bankruptcy records. Bankruptcy records normally stay on your credit report for up to 10 years, but that can sometimes be reduced to 7 years.
This is all expected, however, many people are worried that their friends, family members, co-workers, and community members might find out -- leading to embarrassment and shame. Luckily, you can prepare yourself by knowing what information will be accessible. The easiest way to do it would be to check your bankruptcy records yourself.
Let’s take a look at some of the things an individual can find in regard to public and bankruptcy records.
Name or Business Identity
The first thing you will notice is the first and last name of the person who filed for bankruptcy. Since many people in the United States share the same name, this can get a little confusing if you’re looking at the right name, but the wrong person. To avoid this, you may have to do a little extra digging to confirm you have the right person.
In some cases, a business might be forced to file for bankruptcy. This can also show up on your public record if you are the owner of that business. Bankruptcy records are meant to prove liability among people, which is why they must show their name or business identity.
Bankruptcy Filing Date
Since most bankruptcy records remain on your credit report and record for up to 10 years, it will be beneficial to know when the bankruptcy filing took place. Most people file bankruptcy to get a fresh start and get their lives back on track. If they filed bankruptcy years ago, you would expect them to be in a much better place by now.
When you search for someone’s bankruptcy records, you will be given the filing date including the month, day, and year. This can be useful when trying to match someone’s financial timeline to give you a better idea of where they are financially.
Bankruptcy Case Number
When the courts file bankruptcy records in their electronic system, every file is given a case number. This is common practice with most court records to make it easier when searching for a specific case. The case number is a vital piece of information that can reveal a lot more than you think.
The courts use a very specific format for their case numbers. An example would look something like this: 14-54824 - JB7. It may look like a random selection of numbers and letters, but it’s more than that.
In the example above, the “14” would refer to the year it was filed (2014). The “54825” refers to the actual case number that is given in sequential order. The next person to file bankruptcy in that court would be given “54826.” Moving on to the “JB,” this refers to the initials of the judge that was assigned the bankruptcy case.
Lastly, the “7” at the end refers to the type of bankruptcy being filed. In this example, they are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy -- opposed to some of the other types like Chapter 11 and Chapter 13.
Comments From Other Users
In many websites that offer a look at someone’s public records, I’ve noticed that there are sometimes comments sections where a user can add additional information on someone’s bankruptcy records and financial history.
This can be a major plus to anyone viewing their own bankruptcy records. Sometimes the information isn’t 100% accurate or up-to-date. This can give you a chance to further explain what some people are reading on your public records.
Public Records Show More Than Bankruptcy Cases
When you’re viewing bankruptcy records in someone’s public records, you could be given loads of more information on that person to help you piece things together. This can further help you understand why they might’ve filed for bankruptcy, what else was going on in their life at that time, and whether or not they are doing better now.
Public records, in addition to bankruptcy records, can show arrest records, evictions, judgments made against them, and even property or tax liens. Public records also show personal information like phone records, address history, social media accounts, relatives, and also birth records.
How To Find Bankruptcy Records
As mentioned above, bankruptcy records can be found in a person’s public record. Many people are under the impression that these records are only viewable to the government and those with specially-granted access. As the name implies, public records are accessible to the public via information pulled from court documents and other places on the web.
If you’re looking to search your bankruptcy records, or even someone else’s, the process is very easy and will only take a few minutes of your time. Better yet, you will only need the first name and last name of the person in question -- that’s it!
If you so wish, you can add the last known location of the person -- city or state -- to narrow down your search. This information is not required, but will definitely help your search.
To get started, you can use the search engine located on our website here at Public Records Reviews. All you need to do is type in the person’s first and last name into the corresponding boxes, as well as the city and state if you wish, and you’re good to go!