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Who should you tell about your decision to file for bankruptcy?

One of your main concerns about filing for bankruptcy may be who will find out. You may want to keep this decision as private as possible, which is understandable. Who wants everyone to find out about their personal financial situation?

But you may also feel an obligation to tell certain individuals about your choice to file for bankruptcy. This decision is ultimately up to you, but here is a look at how public bankruptcies are and some suggestions on who you should keep up to date.

Public record

It is true that bankruptcy filings become part of a public record. In fact, there is a government website dedicated to giving the public access to information from bankruptcy courts. But the truth is that most people will not become aware of your filing. Unless you have friends or family members who regularly scour filings on this website, they will probably not find out. 

Your spouse or partner

If you are married or live with a partner, it is usually a good idea to disclose serious financial decisions to this person. Not only is honesty a good policy for relationships, but it is difficult to hide bankruptcy from someone who lives with you. It is better to be upfront with your significant other. 

Other family members

Whether you tell other people is up to you and depends on various factors. For example, if you declare bankruptcy under Chapter 13, it may be more difficult to keep it a secret because the repayment process lasts for up to five years. Additionally, if any of your family members are co-signers on any of your debts, you should let these people know. Otherwise, you should feel no obligation to keep people in the loop about your personal finances. But if your loved ones are understanding and supportive, you should not feel guilty about the decision either. At the end of the day, it is up to you if you tell anyone else about this choice.

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