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Who will know if I file for a Georgia bankruptcy?

| January 7, 2020

Privacy is important, and many people may not want their friends, family members or coworkers knowing about their financial situation. This is especially likely to be true if someone is considering filing for bankruptcy. However, individuals should not deprive themselves of the potential benefits of bankruptcy without fully understanding the implications.

For the most part, only the people that a filer chooses to tell about their decision to file for bankruptcy will know what is going on. However, there are two small groups of people who will necessarily come to learn about a filer’s decision to file for bankruptcy:

  • Court staff
  • Creditors

Of course, the people who are involved in the bankruptcy filing process will be aware that a particular person is filing for bankruptcy. This includes the judge and administrative staff at the courthouse. However, these people see hundreds of bankruptcies petitions each month, and typically do not pay attention the names attached to individual filings.

The second group of people who will learn about a filer’s decision to file for bankruptcy are their creditors. Creditors are the people or businesses to whom the filer owes money. Not surprisingly, these parties are a part of the process because they are affected by the filer’s bankruptcy.

There is a third category of people who may come to learn about a filer’s bankruptcy proceeding depending on the type of bankruptcy being pursued. If a filer initiates a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the court will devise a repayment plan for the filer to pay back much of their debt. A court may determine that the Chapter 13 payment should be withheld from the filer’s paycheck. If this occurs, the court will necessarily inform the filer’s employer.

That being said, an employer cannot fire, demote or transfer an employee for filing for bankruptcy. Doing so amounts to prohibited discrimination. However, jobseekers who are actively looking for employment should be careful, because federal law only precludes public employers from denying employment based on a previous or pending bankruptcy. Thus, private employers may use a bankruptcy in their hiring decision, but cannot use the information once someone has been hired.

The final issue to note is that, while the general public will not be made aware of a pending bankruptcy, these filings are part of the public record. Thus, high-profile individuals such as politicians may petition the court to file for bankruptcy in another district. Anyone who is considering bankruptcy and is concerned about the impact that it may have on their life should contact a dedicated Georgia bankruptcy attorney.

Filing for bankruptcy is not an easy decision, but it is one that has benefited millions of Americans. At the Georgia bankruptcy law firm of Morgan & Morgan, P.C., we represent clients who want to create a fresh financial start by walking them through the bankruptcy process. To learn more about how we can help you with your situation, call (706) 752-7089 today.

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