Declaring bankruptcy isn't easy, but it can be the smartest financial decision for many people. Nevertheless, you may worry that others may find out about your bankruptcy. Even though bankruptcy does show up on your credit report, you can declare bankruptcy very quietly. Here's what you need to know about who will (and who won't) know about your bankruptcy proceedings.
Your Creditors Will Be Notified of Your Bankruptcy First
A bankruptcy proceeding halts any credit collection actions against you. Consequently, your creditors are going to need to be alerted first. Once they're alerted, they have to stop contacting you until the bankruptcy has been completed and your debts have been resolved, one way or another.
This does mean that your creditors are going to be immediately apprised of your bankruptcy, but these are the only entities who are going to be directly notified of your bankruptcy, apart from your bankruptcy trustee.
Your Bankruptcy Trustee Will Work With You
A bankruptcy trustee will be assigned to you during your bankruptcy. They will both help walk you through the process and make sure that your creditors are being paid. This trustee will not know you outside of the bankruptcy; they are a professional. Their sole focus is helping people who are going through the same process as you.
Your Employer May Find Out About Your Bankruptcy
Your employer may find out about your bankruptcy, but only in two situations. For example, some employers run a credit report and background check when hiring. These employers are usually working with confidential or sensitive information, or may even need you to procure top secret clearance.
In this case, the employer won't always judge you based on a bankruptcy - they just need to know your financial situation. In the case of top secret clearance, they want to make sure you're being open and honest.
The other situation is wage garnishment. If you're creating a payment plan for creditors through Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may need to get your wages garnished through your employer. That means that the human resources department of your company is going to know about your bankruptcy. However, this will not happen if you're wiping out your debts through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Your Bank or Landlord May Find Out
If you try to get new credit or you try to move into a new home, your bankruptcy will be revealed on your credit report. In terms of new credit, you may be surprised to find that many lenders are willing to lend to those who have had a bankruptcy in the past, provided that a few years have passed.
Likewise, though landlords may consider a bankruptcy a negative factor, they are going to be looking at your overall credit history and financial picture. You can still find a place to rent after a bankruptcy; in fact, there are even home mortgages open to those who have declared bankruptcy.
Your Family and Friends Won't Know
Perhaps most importantly, your family and friends aren't going to know about your declaration of bankruptcy unless you tell them. Bankruptcy is not going to be public knowledge except for those who are expressly running your credit report, and you need to consent for that.
Regardless of who will find out about your bankruptcy, bankruptcy is ultimately one of the first and best steps for many people who want to control their financial future. Declaring bankruptcy now is a step towards meeting your financial goals in the years to come. If you want to learn more about declaring bankruptcy and the intricacies of the process, contact Custer, Custer, & Clark LLC, Attorneys at Law.