Is Personal Bankruptcy Filing Made Public?

Are you considering filing for bankruptcy protection, but concerned neighbors may read about it in the paper or on the internet? Bankruptcy filings are public record but the fact that you filed is not something that is easily obtained by the general public.  There is a public access system known as PACER which contains information regarding all federal court filings in the United States.  To gain access to that system you must register and pay per page for each document you obtain. Pacer is more or less used for bankruptcy professionals, lenders, and others who have direct need to look up prior bankruptcy cases in detail.

The fact that you filed bankruptcy will appear on a credit report for up to 10 years.  Therefore, if you apply for a job, rent an apartment, or apply for credit, those obtaining your credit report with your consent will become aware of your bankruptcy filing. Additionally, in certain applications there may be questions concerning whether or not you have ever filed a bankruptcy before.

For the most part, the fact that you filed for personal bankruptcy will be known by just you and the others you inform.  When you file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are required to list all of the people to whom you owe money.  If you owe a family member or a friend or anyone else, that person’s name and address must be listed on your petition.


What kind of relief are you obtaining?  Are you saving your home from foreclosure?  Are you stopping a wage garnishment that’s taking 25% of your pay?  Are you getting a drivers license that is currently suspended due to reinstatement fees?  Are you unable to make ends meet because of your debt commitments?  The psychological relief our clients receive from riding themselves of debt is usually great.


Since 1992, Keegan & Company Attorneys has helped thousands of people protect their assets and gain freedom from overwhelming debt. Call 513-752-3900 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney. We have 2 convenient locations: Eastgate, Ohio and Middletown, Ohio. We offer fair fees, expert advise, and flexible appointment times.

Bankruptcy and Vehicles

A major concern when thinking of  bankruptcy is the potential loss of your vehicle.  The best solution depends on many factors such as the value of your car and the status of your loan.

You own your car free and clear

There are certain exemptions that can allow you to keep your car.

You are current on your vehicle

If your intention is to keep your vehicle, continue making your payments during the bankruptcy. You will need to sign a reaffirmation agreement where you re-sign on your vehicle loan. This reaffirmation agreement makes the debt you owe on your vehicle non-discharged in bankruptcy.

You are upside down on your vehicle

Do you owe more than you vehicle is worth.? You could be in this situation for several reasons, usually because you traded in a previous vehicle that had a loan balance. This also happens as vehicles depreciate. One benefit of bankruptcy is access to a special program that allows you to re-finance your vehicle for what it is currently worth. This “redemption” program may not be suitable for everyone.

You are behind on your vehicle payments

If you are behind on your payments and want to file Chapter 7 and keep your vehicle you will need to get current. Creditors will allow a reaffirmation agreement if you are current. If you are behind on your vehicle and want to keep it but do not have the funds to get current on your payments, then Chapter 13 may help you. Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy you can catch up and pay off your vehicle over 3-5 years.


If the vehicle is repossessed and sold at auction you may have a “deficiency balance”. This is the amount owed after the amount received for your car at auction. This unsecured debt can be discharged through bankruptcy.


Every situation is unique. Call us at Keegan & Company Attorneys, 513-752-3900, and schedule a free consultation at one of our convenient offices. Our free consultation with an experienced attorney will allow plenty of time to discuss your individual circumstance.