Filing for bankruptcy is an extremely emotional and stressful situation. Typically those who file for bankruptcy have already exhausted their options and put forth excessive efforts to repay their debt. And, although it’s not true and there are multiple different reasons for bankruptcy, those who finally make the decision to file view themselves as financial failures.
That being said, a major concern that many people have when they’re filing for bankruptcy is the fear that friends, relatives, or coworkers will find out about it. Although filing for bankruptcy is a matter of public record, privacy is essential for all parties involved, especially when it comes to a family’s finances.
If you’re in the process of filing for bankruptcy or are thinking about taking the next step, your bankruptcy attorney can help you keep your financial status confidential. Before you begin, however, it’s vital to have a thorough understanding of just what information is publicly available.
Keeping Your Financial Status Unavailable to the Public
While bankruptcy filings are public, that doesn’t mean everyone in your life will know about it. The most prevalent places bankruptcy shows up is your credit report and some bank records. Luckily, there are only a few people and business entities that will ever go through that statement.
One of the most common worries for individuals filing bankruptcy is that their employer will find out, especially if they work in the financial sector. However, unless your repayment plan includes automatic deductions from your paycheck, there is no reason for you to worry as your employer will not be notified and does not have rights to your public records.
Some small towns will post announcements of bankruptcy filings in their local newspaper. This practice, however, is outdated and not widely practiced and is not something you need to waste time and energy worrying about.
Besides obtaining a credit report or perhaps seeing it in a newspaper, the only alternative way a curious party could pull up proof of your bankruptcy is if they go to the courthouse and sift through bankruptcy records. Remember, though, that because bankruptcy stays on your credit history for approximately ten years, it may affect your ability to obtain a loan for a vehicle or home for the foreseeable future.
Guarding Against Identity Theft
In addition to having friends and family find out, another major bankruptcy concern is identity theft. During bankruptcy, there’s a great deal of personal information exchanged between you, your attorney, and other entities. Throughout bankruptcy, publicly-available information may be sealed by your bankruptcy attorney if there’s a pre-existing order of protection. If such a warrant is issued against your creditors, it’s important to notify your attorney.
To guard against identity theft, a lawyer can help you keep your home address confidential. Another option is to use a post office box as your address when filing bankruptcy. While this will keep your physical address private, certain entities will still have access to your home address. When applying for the box, the post office will record your home address. Similarly, the bankruptcy trustee appointed by the court will also have your home address on file. Your attorney may require your physical address as well, which will remain confidential.
The rising concern over identity theft has changed how we approach bankruptcy and privacy, but they do remain a matter of public record. If you have concerns about making information available, you should discuss these concerns with your attorney. It’s important that you feel protected while pursuing relief from financial issues.
Trusted, Experienced Bankruptcy Attorneys
The Louisiana bankruptcy lawyers at E. Orum Young Law Offices are seasoned attorneys who’ve helped many individuals and businesses pursue Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In addition to being extremely knowledgeable and professional, our outstanding customer service practices help to keep all our cases private. With more than 20,000 cases being handled, our firm has filed the most bankruptcies in Northeast Louisiana and is ready to guide you through yours.
Attorney Jacob Rennick is an ideal attorney to assist you with your case as he concentrates on consumer bankruptcy and has been awarded the Gold Medal Congressional Award by the United States Legislature. To get started, contact us today for a free case evaluation. Our Trial Guarantee ensures that we will take your case to trial per your request. We can’t wait to hear from you.