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Is Bankruptcy Public Record in Ohio?

Is Bankruptcy Public Record in Ohio?

If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy in Ohio, you may be wondering if a bankruptcy is a public record. Understanding the laws surrounding bankruptcy in Ohio can help you make an informed decision about your financial future.

Did you know that 6, 331 people filed chapter 7 bankruptcy in the Southern district of Ohio in 2023? [1]

Who Can Access Ohio Bankruptcy Records?

When someone files for bankruptcy relief in Ohio, their bankruptcy records are considered public information, and they are generally accessible to the public.

Ohio bankruptcy records can be accessed by anyone, including individuals, businesses, and organizations, who have a legitimate interest in obtaining the information. This means that creditors, lenders, potential employers, insurance companies, and even the general public can view bankruptcy records in Ohio.

Who Can Access Ohio Bankruptcy Records?

Is All the Information in My Bankruptcy Record Accessible in Ohio?

In Ohio, as in most states, bankruptcy records are considered public records. Not all the information contained in a bankruptcy record is easily accessible by the general public.

Bankruptcy records in Ohio are initially filed in a federal bankruptcy court. These records typically include documents such as the bankruptcy petition, schedules, and statements that detail the debtor’s financial affairs. While these documents are considered public records, they are not usually available online or freely accessible.

Although bankruptcy records are public records, access to them is regulated by the federal court system to protect the privacy of debtors. An interested party, such as a creditor or prospective employer, must initiate a formal request to access bankruptcy records. The requestor must specify the reasons for their request and provide personal identification information. By doing so, they demonstrate a legitimate reason to access the records.

Upon approval of the request, the public may access bankruptcy records either in person at the courthouse or through the court’s online case management system known as PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records). PACER provides access to various federal court records, including bankruptcy cases, and requires a subscription and nominal fees for usage. [2]

Certain documents within bankruptcy records may still be protected from public access. Sensitive financial information, such as social security numbers, bank account details, and tax returns, may be redacted or restricted from public view to prevent identity theft or fraud.

The federal court system has implemented measures to protect debtors’ privacy by requiring requestors to demonstrate a valid reason for access and by redacting or restricting sensitive information.

Can My Bankruptcy be Sealed from the Public Record in Ohio?

In Ohio, bankruptcy filings are considered public records and are generally accessible to anyone who wishes to access them. This means that your bankruptcy records, including financial information, debts, and assets, can be accessed by the public, including friends, family, employers, or even potential landlords.

Accessing bankruptcy records requires individuals to conduct specific searches on databases dedicated to public records. Unless someone has a reason to look up bankruptcy records, it is unlikely that they would stumble upon your filing.

Certain parties will be actively notified about your bankruptcy filing, regardless of whether they search for it or not. These parties include your creditors, lenders, and other financial institutions. Your bankruptcy filing will also appear on your credit report for a certain period, which may impact your ability to obtain credit in the future.

While bankruptcy filings cannot be sealed from the general public in Ohio, if maintaining privacy is a significant concern for you, it is advisable to seek legal advice from a bankruptcy attorney who can guide you through the process and provide advice tailored to your situation.

Can My Bankruptcy Records be Sealed from the Public in Ohio?

Contact the Richard West today to discuss your options and get the help you need.


In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a discharge is typically granted within 3-6 months after filing. Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves a repayment plan that can last 3-5 years. The overall duration depends on factors like the complexity of the case, any objections raised by creditors, and the efficiency of the court system in processing the filing. Consult with a bankruptcy attorney for a more accurate estimate based on individual circumstances.

Ohio bankruptcy records typically include important information about the individual or business filing for bankruptcy. This can include the full name, address, and contact details of the filer, as well as their Social Security number and employment information. The records also provide details about the type of bankruptcy filed (such as Chapter 7 or Chapter 13), the filing date, and the bankruptcy court handling the case.

Additionally, Ohio bankruptcy records list the debts owed by the filer and the names of creditors, along with the respective amounts owed. Information related to the filer’s assets, such as real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, and other valuable possessions, may also be disclosed in the records.

When an individual or business files for bankruptcy, they are required to provide a detailed overview of their debts and creditors. This includes information such as the names and contact information of the creditors, the types of debts (e.g., credit cards, loans), and the total amount owed to each creditor. By listing these details in the bankruptcy records, it helps establish a comprehensive picture of the filer’s financial obligations and assists in determining how the debts will be addressed during the bankruptcy proceedings.


[1] Statistics | Southern District of Ohio | United States Bankruptcy Court. (n.d.).

[2] Public Access to Court Electronic Records | PACER: Federal Court Records. (2024, April 14).


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Useful Calculators

Here are two helpful calculators for managing your debt repayments and Chapter 13 commitments.