Hey there, I want to talk about something that’s been on a lot of people’s minds lately: are bankruptcy records public in New York? I know, it’s not exactly a fun topic, but it’s an important one. See, if you’re considering filing for bankruptcy or you’re just curious about someone else’s financial situation, you might be wondering how easy it is to access those records. Well, I’ve done some digging, and I’m here to give you the lowdown.

First things first, let’s get one thing straight: bankruptcy records are public documents. Yep, that means anyone can access them, as long as they know where to look. But don’t worry, I’ll get to that in a minute. The thing is, just because they’re public doesn’t mean they’re always easy to find. And that’s where things can get a little tricky.

New York Bankruptcy Records Search

I’ve been practicing bankruptcy law in New York for over a decade now. And let me tell you, accessing those bankruptcy records isn’t always a walk in the park. But fear not, I’m here to guide you through the process. First things first, let’s talk about where to even start your search.

Online Services

Thank the legal gods for technology, am I right? The Bankruptcy Court website has made our lives a whole lot easier. You can now access a ton of information and even file electronically from the comfort of your own home. No more trekking down to the courthouse and battling for parking.

Court Locations

But let’s say you’re old school and prefer the in-person approach. I get it, sometimes you just need to see those documents with your own eyes. The Southern District of New York Bankruptcy Court is located at One Bowling Green in New York City. That’s where you’ll want to head if you’re on the hunt for those bankruptcy records.

Filing Electronically

Now, if you’re an attorney like myself, you’ll need to get familiar with PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records). It’s the system we use to access and file all those important bankruptcy documents. But don’t worry, the PACER service center is there to help with registration, searches, and any technical support you may need. They’ve saved my bacon more times than I can count.

How to Access Bankruptcy Case Information

Alright, so you’ve figured out where to look for those bankruptcy records. But what exactly do you need to access them?

Required Case Information

When I’m helping a client access their New York bankruptcy records, I always make sure to have a few key pieces of information on hand. First and foremost, you’ll need the case number. Trust me, trying to search without it is like looking for a needle in a haystack. You’ll also want the full name of the person or company who filed for bankruptcy. Now, if you’re looking for more detailed information, be prepared to do some digging. Larger bankruptcy files can take some time to process and may require additional fees. But don’t let that deter you. Those extra details can make all the difference in your case.

Lookup Case Information

If you’re not sure where to start, try looking up the case information online. Many courts now offer access to records right on their website. Just create an account, enter the case number or name, and voila. You’ll have access to all sorts of helpful information. Just be prepared to pay a small fee for the convenience. So, what exactly will you find in those New York bankruptcy records? Well, it depends on the type of bankruptcy and the specific case. But generally speaking, you can expect to find the petition itself, which includes the debtor’s name and address. You’ll also likely see a list of creditors and any assets or liabilities. In some cases, you may even find detailed financial statements and other supporting documents. It’s like a treasure trove of information for us bankruptcy attorneys.

Are Bankruptcy Filings Public Record in New York?

Now, here’s the million-dollar question: are bankruptcy filings public record in New York? The short answer is yes, they are. As much as we may want to keep our financial troubles private, the fact is that bankruptcies are a matter of public record. They’re maintained by the federal courts and can be accessed by anyone who knows where to look. That means that your nosy neighbor or an old friend from high school could potentially stumble upon your bankruptcy filing. It’s not exactly a comforting thought, I know.

Is it Possible to Expunge Records of Bankruptcy?

Unfortunately, expunging bankruptcy records is not an option in New York. Once that filing is made, it’s there to stay. However, it’s important to remember that while the filing itself is public record, the details of your case may not be. It’s not like anyone can just walk into the courthouse and demand to see your entire financial history.

Understanding the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process

If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy in New York, it’s important to understand the different options available to you. One of the most common types of bankruptcy is Chapter 7. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as liquidation bankruptcy, is designed to wipe out most of your unsecured debts. That includes things like credit card balances, medical bills, and personal loans. In exchange for this debt relief, you may have to give up some of your assets. But don’t panic just yet – many assets are protected under New York’s exemption laws.

Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy a Good Idea?

Whether or not Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a good idea depends on your individual circumstances. It’s not a decision to be made lightly, as it will have a significant impact on your credit report and financial future. But for some people, it can be a lifeline. If you’re drowning in debt and see no way out, Chapter 7 may be the fresh start you need.

Steps in the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process

If you do decide to move forward with Chapter 7, here’s what you can expect: 1. You’ll need to complete a credit counseling course before filing. 2. Once you file, an automatic stay goes into effect. This means that creditors must stop all collection efforts immediately. 3. A trustee will be appointed to your case. They’ll review your assets and debts to determine what, if anything, can be sold to pay off your creditors. 4. You’ll attend a meeting of creditors, where the trustee and any creditors who choose to attend can ask you questions about your case. 5. If all goes well, your eligible debts will be discharged within a few months. Of course, this is just a simplified overview of the process. There’s a lot more to it than that, which is why it’s so important to work with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in NY.

Key Takeaway: 

Accessing New York bankruptcy records is easier than ever, thanks to online services and court websites. This could be helpful in some cases—and not so much in others. However, keep in mind that it does require some effort to uncover information about your bankruptcy filing. 


So, there you have it – the truth about bankruptcy records in New York. They’re public, but they’re not always easy to access. You might have to jump through a few hoops and pay a few fees, but if you’re determined enough, you can get your hands on them.

Just remember, bankruptcy is a serious matter, and it’s not something to be taken lightly. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, make sure you talk to a qualified attorney first. They can help you understand your options and make sure you’re making the best decision for your situation.

And if you’re just curious about someone else’s bankruptcy records, well, just be careful. It’s not always a good idea to go poking around in other people’s financial business. But if you do decide to access those records, now you know how to do it.