This is one of the most frequently asked questions about bankruptcy that we face. Many people are afraid — and understandably so — that bankruptcy could ruin their reputations. If everyone knows about your filing for bankruptcy, it will limit your career options and embarrass you with your family, friends and neighbors.
For the most part, the notion of bankruptcy as a completely public affair is a bankruptcy myth. While it is true that some of your information is available for people who really dig for it, most people don’t unless they are already suspicious of you. Most employers don’t care, and even if they do, there are clear laws that prohibit making hiring and firing decisions based on whether or not someone has filed for bankruptcy.
We tell our clients that the most important thing to keep in mind throughout this Chapter 7 bankruptcy process is to be open and honest with us. Keep up with getting us the forms we need and let us know right away if you have a change of occupation or other significant financial change. We are experienced bankruptcy attorneys. If you are honest and open with us, we can help you get a fresh start financially, like we have helped so many of our satisfied clients.
The law is always trying to strike a balance between the right of the public to information and each individual’s right to privacy. This issue is especially complicated in the area of bankruptcy. There are a few things you should know:
- Bankruptcy is a public legal proceeding: It is true that, technically, bankruptcy is a public proceeding. However, your information must be published in a way that still honors your right to privacy.
- It is highly unlikely that anyone will know: Most of the time, no one has any idea when someone else files for bankruptcy. The only time the information usually “goes public” is when the newspapers or TV see the report and spread the word. Unless you are a celebrity of some kind, this is unlikely.
- We can help protect your rights: During the bankruptcy process, personally identifying information will be handled by many different parties who have a stake in the outcome of the bankruptcy proceedings. One of the most important reasons why you need an experienced Georgia bankruptcy lawyer is that we have know how to secure your information so that you retain the maximum amount of privacy possible throughout the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process or the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process.