October 13, 2007
It is nobody’s business you say. IT’S EMBARRASSING! Why does my name have to go in the newspaper when I file bankruptcy?
Some Kansas newspapers publish the names of people who file bankruptcy in their print and internet editions. Bankruptcy court filings are public records and you can’t stop the newspapers from getting the information or publishing it.
You might be able to prevent your name from appearing in the newspaper by carefully choosing where you file your bankruptcy case, but you might not be successful. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Kansas has three divisions in Topeka, Kansas City and Wichita. Any Kansas case can be filed in any division – the debtor chooses where to file.
The Kansas City Star does not publish your name unless you are known well enough to merit a news story. The Topeka Capital-Journal used to publish a list of all bankruptcy cases filed in the Topeka division, but stopped that practice about two years ago. The Wichita Eagle-Beacon publishes a list of debtors who file in the Wichita division. The Johnson County Sun, the Lawrence Journal-World and the Salina Journal publish lists of local residents from their readership area. Other papers, business journals and legal news publish bankruptcy cases.
Editors’ policies change and there is no guarantee you will be able to stay out of the newspapers. Seek the advice of your bankruptcy attorney to determine whether you can successfully keep your name out of the paper.