While personal bankruptcy information is publicly recorded, it’s not broadcasted like corporate bankruptcies. There are several places where bankruptcy information can be found.
1. In your Licensed Insolvency Trustee’s files.
- What is included: The trustee’s client file will include notes about meetings, phone calls, copies of documents related to the filing, values of assets, claims of creditors, funds received and paid out in the process, court orders (if any), and so on.
- Who can see it: Your trustee has access to these files. You also have access to this if you need it, although the most important information is sent directly to you during the bankruptcy process.
2. The Federal government, through the Office of the Superintendent has access to most of your bankruptcy information.
3. The next place you could find a record is the Office of the Superintendent’s bankruptcy database.
- What is included: This is a listing of all bankruptcy files, online, as far back as 1977; and on paper even further back than that. From this database, you can learn only basic information, such as the name of the filer, the date of filing and type of discharge, the amount declared as owing and the value of assets, their bankruptcy trustee, and address at the date of filing.
- Who can see it: This is a public record – anyone can obtain information from this source, however, in order to access it you must register, login, and pay for each search. It is uncommon for anyone to use this database, except within the bankruptcy industry.
4. Your creditors get a package of information, necessary for their involvement.
- What is included: Basic and necessary information about your bankruptcy including your legal name, assets, and creditors included in your bankruptcy, etc.
- Who can see it: Your creditor’s access is generally quite limited to the basic and necessary information. This same package is also sent directly to you.
5. The most common place to see bankruptcy information is your credit report.
- What is included: The dates of bankruptcy and who was owed what, up to seven years after you are discharged. If you ever file a second bankruptcy, it will bring back information about your first bankruptcy and keep both on the file for 14 years after you are discharged from the second one.
- Who can see it: These records, like all credit report records, are somewhat restricted. Most of the information on these records can only be accessed with your permission. For example, you are asked permission to access these records when applying for credit, and sometimes when applying for jobs or apartments. To view this information, get your free credit report from TransUnion and/or Equifax today.
The truth is that in most instances the only people who will know about your bankruptcy are you, your trustee and your creditors.