Is Bankruptcy Public Record? Everything You Need to Know

Bankruptcy is a type of public record that’s created by creditors. However, that doesn’t always mean that your friends, employer, or family will find this information. It’s important to know what makes bankruptcy public record and what exactly bankruptcy is.

The good news is that we’re here to help. We’ll take you through what you need to know about bankruptcy and how it becomes a public record. We’ll also cover who will see bankruptcy records, and show you how to find it on your or someone else’s record.

What Is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is an agreement that someone enters into to either come up with a plan to pay a debt or to default on debt they can’t pay. A bankruptcy can be filed by an individual, business, or even an organization. In fact, companies go bankrupt all of the time and, in some cases, bankruptcy becomes a strategic move.

It’s also important to note that bankruptcy isn’t reserved for individuals or companies in the United States. Schools, towns, and cities will file for bankruptcy to organize debt or default on loans.

What Are the Types of Bankruptcy?

In the United States, there are a few types of bankruptcy chapters. Each chapter is outlined by the United States bankruptcy code. Chapters of bankruptcy are typically dependent on the type of person or entity filing for bankruptcy.

We list the types of bankruptcy below.

  • Chapter 7 and Chapter 13: The most common types of bankruptcy that individuals file for. Depending on the situation, either option is viable. Businesses may also file for bankruptcy under chapter 7
  • Chapter 11: Businesses file for chapter 11 to help a company reorganize debt and come up with a payment plan. It’s often a last-ditch effort to prevent closing the company down.
  • Chapter 9: This type of bankruptcy is reserved for towns, cities, schools, and other government entities. It helps them reorganize debt and come up with a payment plan to keep the organization running.
  • Chapter 12: Fishermen and farmers also have a unique type of bankruptcy to file for. Chapter 12 helps farmers and fishermen with debt they’re unable to pay. In some cases, it involves clearing some debt and, in others, it’s about a payment plan.
  • Chapter 15: Another type of bankruptcy is chapter 15, which is for countries to file. When companies or individuals from outside the United States file for bankruptcy, this is the chapter they have to use.

There are some other types of bankruptcy chapters in the United States, but these are the most common.

Who Can File for Bankruptcy?

Almost anyone can file for bankruptcy depending on the type of assets and debt they hold. Towns, companies, individuals, schools, and even people from outside of the United States may file for bankruptcy.

That said, some loans are not allowed to enter bankruptcy. In the United States, these loans are student loans or college education debt. However, that’s typically the only type of debt that can’t be filed for bankruptcy.

Is Bankruptcy Public Record?

Yes, bankruptcy is a public record. While it’s unlikely for friends or family to happen on information about your bankruptcy, it is accessible. Typically, creditors will have access to bankruptcy information, and it will prevent you from taking out loans or debt. However, bankruptcy stops having a significant impact on someone’s credit after several years.

What Information Is Listed About Someone Who Files for Bankruptcy?

When someone files for bankruptcy, a lot of information about them becomes public. Looking up someone’s public records will show you several things about someone’s bankruptcy, including their name, the date it occurred, and more.

Below we list some of the things that become public when filing for bankruptcy:

  • Someone’s full name
  • An individual or organization’s address
  • Someone’s job
  • Information about where the bankruptcy was filed and for what reasons
  • How much money the bankruptcy included

These are only some of the things that will show up on a bankruptcy report. Depending on the situation, even more, information may become public.

Does Bankruptcy Show Up in Newspapers or in the News?

Yes and no. Bankruptcy filed by large companies or organizations, like schools or cities, will show up in the newspaper. There’s also a good chance that it will be discussed on television or online in the news. Bankruptcy that’s filed for by high-profile individuals will also show up in the newspaper or on television. That said, small bankruptcy cases typically don’t garner media attention.

Is It Possible to Prevent Bankruptcy From Becoming Public Record?

Yes, it’s possible to prevent bankruptcy from becoming a public record. In the United States, this needs to happen at the court level, and you need to file for it. You’ll need a lawyer and a reason to prevent the bankruptcy from going public. More often than not, you’ll have to prove to the court that the bankruptcy going public will put you or your family in danger.

Is Bankruptcy Always Public Record?

Bankruptcy is almost always a public record, and it’s possible to learn about it at any time. However, it stops affecting individuals after about seven years (depending on the state). After seven years, creditors won’t find bankruptcy on your credit report, and it’s possible to take on debt again.

How to Find Information About Someone’s Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is usually public record, so it’s possible to find information about it. That said, there are only a few ways that help you find information about someone’s bankruptcy effectively. Ultimately, it comes down to public records database search tools and search engines, like Google. is the best public records search available to help you find information about someone’s bankruptcy. It’s the most comprehensive public records search tool and has a simple and easy user interface. Simply enter someone’s name into the search bar to find information about their bankruptcy.

Aside from finding information about someone’s bankruptcy, you’ll also learn more with For example, you’ll find the following information when running a people search:

  • Someone’s full name
  • Date of birth
  • Sex offender status
  • Criminal records
  • Arrest records
  • Court records
  • Traffic records
  • Phone numbers
  • Email addresses
  • Addresses
  • Financial records

These are only some of the things you’ll find about someone when you use


Google is another way to find information about someone’s bankruptcy. What makes Google a good place to look is the fact that it’s the largest search engine in the world. Plus, it’s the most commonly used search engine, so most people are familiar with it. To use Google to find information, just enter the person or organization’s name into the search bar.

Google is best suited for finding information about a company or state organization’s bankruptcy records. However, is better for finding information about an individual’s bankruptcy records.

Learn More About a Bankruptcy Today

Bankruptcy is a public record and almost anyone can access information about it. That said, you have to know where to look. For most people, bankruptcies are private matters and not public knowledge. However, it’s possible to uncover information about almost any bankruptcy with either a Google search or a public records search with tools like