Filing for bankruptcy is a matter of public record. If you file for bankruptcy, you must list all of your creditors (those to whom you owe money). Additionally, a debtor must list all people who are co-signers (people who have co-signed a debt for you). If your friends, family or co-workers fall into either or those categories, then it will be impossible to file bankruptcy without their knowledge. If that is the case, you might want to inform them before filing so they are not surprised when they receive notice of your bankruptcy filing.
While filing for bankruptcy may carry a stigma, in today’s modern times, many people have filed for bankruptcy to obtain financial relief. The bankruptcy process can be difficult and it might be made easier if a debtor has a friend or family member with whom they can turn to for support, advice or comfort. Thus, you may decide to tell your friends and family to receive some support, not just financial support, but emotional support, as well.
However, if you insist on keeping your bankruptcy filing a secret from your friends or family, the odds are that they may never know. The Bankruptcy Courts and Trustees do not inform others of your bankruptcy filing unless they are in some way related or involved in your case. There is a good chance that many people you know (family, friends, neighbors, co-workers) have filed for bankruptcy in the past and you were unaware. If bankruptcy is a viable option for you, embarrassment should not be a barrier to obtaining relief.