There are certain categories of people that will be involved in the bankruptcy proceeding and will, therefore, learn about your bankruptcy filing, including creditors. In addition to creditors, your spouse and others in your household, even if not included in your filing, must be made aware of the bankruptcy proceeding. Further, if you owe money to any friends or family members, they will be notified as well. Employers may also become aware of your bankruptcy filing under certain specific circumstances.
Moreover, while bankruptcy proceedings are not published in newspapers, such as foreclosure notices are, bankruptcy proceedings are a matter of public record. Because accessing court records is a cumbersome process, however, it is unlikely, except in a handful of situations, that others will find out about your bankruptcy proceeding, unless you choose to tell them. As a practical matter, it is of course possible that you will run into someone you know at a hearing in bankruptcy court. However, experience has shown that when others do find out, they are generally accepting and understanding and can even serve as a source of support during this difficult time.