Every person who files a bankruptcy case is concerned about who will find out about it. It is true that all bankruptcy filings are a matter of public record, but this does not mean it is easy for others to learn about your case. The two main ways another person can learn about your filing is to either go to the bankruptcy courthouse where you filed and conduct a search, or have the required credentials to obtain a PACER account. PACER is the on-line tool that allows you to view federal court records.
The biggest concern for debtors is whether potential employers will learn about their filing. Credit reporting agencies research and report public records, so if a credit report is run on you, your bankruptcy will appear. Whether or not a bankruptcy filing will appear on a simple background check depends on the type and thoroughness of the background check.
Typically an employer searches for criminal records, which does not report bankruptcy filings. More thorough searches, however, will include credit reports. This is especially true if you are applying for a job that requires any type of security clearance.
Depending on the type of job you are applying for, it may be smart to be upfront with the potential employer regarding your bankruptcy filing. The story behind the filing doesn’t appear when a background check reveals your bankruptcy. Discussing the matter in person will allow you to explain the circumstances surrounding your economic troubles. Most employers are going to understand if a divorce, medical issues or some other unexpected event caused your filing.