If you are planning to file for bankruptcy or have already filed, you should know that personal bankruptcy cases are public record. As a public record, the general public can obtain your case information, however it does not mean that information is easily accessible and it also does not mean that general public will openly be able to see it.
What Does Public Record Mean?
Public records are documents and pieces of information that are filed with a government agency or courts at the local, county, state, or Federal levels, however each individual state has it’s own set of laws as to what constitutes a public record and who is able to access that information. Bankruptcy cases are a common item that is considered public record across the country.
How Accessible Is My Bankruptcy Case Information?
Although filing for bankruptcy is public record, it is important for you to know that it will not be easy for people to access that information. In order for a member of the general public to view information about a bankruptcy filing, they will be required to register with a public access system known as PACER (Public Access To Court Electronic Records). Through PACER, people will also be required to pay per page for each document requested.
What Information About My Case Can Be Accessed?
Bankruptcy records are public record, however confidential information, such as your social security number, will not be released. Those who are registered with PACER and willing to pay will be able to access a compilation of case related information such as names of participants, case number, dates, judgments, and case status, among other things.
Who Can View My Bankruptcy Record?
Any member of the general public can register with PACER, however it is not a system that is commonly used by the general public. PACER is more often used by lenders, bankruptcy professionals, and those with an honest need for accessing bankruptcy information.
Typically, the general public is not made aware of your bankruptcy, nor is it publicly announced. It is also important to know that, for the most part, people will not be interested in finding your bankruptcy records. The general public likely won’t even know that you filed for bankruptcy, unless you disclose that information personally or through an application under which you are asked to directly about it.
Your bankruptcy filing will also appear on your credit report, which is one of the most common ways for a person or company to find out about your bankruptcy. On average, bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for 7-10 years depending on the type of bankruptcy you file.
Why Would My Bankruptcy Record Be Accessed?
Your bankruptcy record is most commonly accessed by creditors or lenders looking into your financial background after you have applied for a new loan, credit card, line of credit, or lease. It may also be looked by an employer. While the information is available to the general public, they generally will not know about it unless they are directly made aware of it.
For more questions about who is able to access your bankruptcy record or what information is released, speak to a Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyer at Fair Fee Legal Services. Call us today at (702) 703-3333.
Fair Fee Legal Services
8665 South Eastern Avenue, Suite 101
Las Vegas, Nevada 89123