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The Bankruptcy Records Database

In the member’s area you will find our “Court Records” section, and our bankruptcy records search is in that section. Other court records searches include judgment records, liens, and criminal records. You can search our court records database by name or by case number. Other searches available in the member’s area include birth records, death records, marriage records, divorce records, driving records, vehicle records, people search, background checks, and phone number lookups.

Bankruptcy Filings: Who Has Access to These Public Records?

Owing to your financial situation, the idea of filing for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is under consideration. One of your concerns is who will be able to find out about the action if you do file. As your attorney will explain, all personal bankruptcy filings in the United States are part of the public record. What may surprise you is that people will often have to do some research in order to find those public files.

Bankruptcy Notices in the Newspaper

In many jurisdictions, personal bankruptcy notices are printed weekly in the local newspapers. The amount of information is generally limited. In the paper, the notice will include your name, present address, and the form of bankruptcy that you’ve filed. All other details, while available through the court, would have to be requested.

The fact is that not everyone chooses to read these public notices anymore than they pore over the published reports of recent arrests. That means if you do file an action, only those who actually read that section of the paper are likely to notice. 

The Major Credit Bureaus

Expect basic information about your bankruptcy to appear on the detail provided by the three major credit reporting agencies. In addition, the bankruptcy may appear on a local or state credit agency report. Anyone who is willing to pay to see your credit history and score can register with one of the three agencies and conduct a search. The data is typically limited to the filing or approval dates and the name of the court of jurisdiction.

Keep in mind that some of the creditors included in the bankruptcy action may also submit comments to the credit bureaus noting the accounts are closed due to a bankruptcy action. Again, anyone who is willing to register and request information on your credit history will see those notes.

How About Obtaining Information Online?

Public records about bankruptcy filings are found online. All court actions are maintained in a centralized database and can be found at a site called the Public Access to Court Electronic Records. Typically called PACER, anyone who registers at the site can conduct searches and find out the current status of any bankruptcy action. 

The detail available through PACER is thorough. It will include information about the filing dates, court hearings, and even the creditors that are included in the action. In terms of finding out every detail of the bankruptcy, registering for this site is easily the most comprehensive.

There are also independent sites, mostly fee based, that will access public records of all types and create reports on all sorts of actions, including bankruptcy filings.

If you don’t plan on applying for a new job or conducting any other activity that would require a background check, the odds of someone searching for you in this database are somewhat slim. 

Keep in mind that most people will not know about the bankruptcy unless you choose to tell them. In any event, you’ve chosen bankruptcy as the most practical way to resolve your debt and move on to a brighter financial future. Don’t let public access to the information deter you. In the long run, bankruptcy is the right solution and will help you get the fresh start that you deserve.

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Please be aware that the information obtained using searches may not always be accurate and up to date as we do not create, verify, or guarantee the accuracy or the amount of information provided through our service. Data availability is largely dependent on various public sources from which the information is aggregated. is not a consumer reporting agency as defined by Fair Credit Reporting Act and should not be used to determine an individual’s eligibility for personal credit or employment, or to assess risk associated with any business transactions such as tenant screening. By using the services offered through this website you agree to comply with all of the conditions set forth in our terms and privacy disclosure. The information obtained from our searches is not to be used for any unlawful purposes such as stalking or harassing others, or investigating public officials or celebrities. Violators may be subject to civil and criminal litigation and penalties. All searches are subject to our terms and applicable laws.