Bankruptcy cases are matters of public domain, and newspapers sometimes publish the names of people who have applied for bankruptcy aid. However, with the increasing number of bankruptcy filings, it is no longer considered newsworthy. Unless sealed, all documents filed in a bankruptcy case are available for public viewing. The information contained in the bankruptcy case documents is a matter of public record and can be accessed in the Clerk's Office during regular business hours or 24 hours a day through Internet access to PACER.
Debtors should be aware that filing for bankruptcy can have a negative impact on their credit rating. Credit reporting agencies regularly collect and disclose bankruptcy data to the public. If anything appears in the local newspaper, it is usually business bankruptcies. Personal bankruptcies are rarely reported in the newspaper.
It is unlikely that people will know about an individual's bankruptcy filing unless they are told about it. Bankruptcies don't usually show up in Google searches, unless they involve companies that are newsworthy. Commercial bankruptcies are more likely to be reported in the newspaper since they affect a larger part of the community. In the past, newspapers used to publish the names of people who filed for bankruptcy, but this is no longer done due to lack of interest and space constraints.
Newspapers prefer to use their space for advertisements rather than publishing names of people who have filed for bankruptcy.