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Creditor access to personal information during bankruptcy

What personal information can be demanded of a bankrupt by a creditor?

For example:
1. Can a creditor demand details of my past insurance claims?
2. Can a creditor demand to see the past years tax returns of spouse?
3. Can a creditor demand to see my medical information?
4. Can a creditor demand to see my spouses bank statements?

One Response to “Creditor access to personal information during bankruptcy”

A licensed trustee said...

A creditor may ask for any of those things and more – really what you want to know is whether or not you have to provide the information.

The only item on your list which you can likely refuse is detailed medical information. Certainly they have a right to know that you’ve had medical issues and the extent that those issues have impacted on your finances. Beyond that I suppose it is a question of degrees.

There are a couple of different ways that this information may be requested.

1) At a meeting of creditors – these aren’t often held anymore, but if you have a meeting of creditors then these types of questions might be asked in person or by letter of you at the meeting

2) By informal request – the creditor might send a letter to your trustee and ask you to provide this information (this is the method that e suggest creditors ask these kinds of questions).

3) By examination – your creditors have the right to have you examined under oath to obtain this information. This approach is only used if the creditor is considering legal action within the bankruptcy – it is a sign that things are going in the wrong direction.

4) In Court – a creditor may “oppose” your discharge and ask you to produce this information at the hearing to determine whether or not your bankruptcy should be completed.

If you have already filed bankruptcy you should be having this conversation with your trustee (or a lawyer). If you haven’t filed then I suggest you raise these concerns with your trustee before you file – as I have said many times on this site, surprises are bad, the more information you exchange before your file the better off you will be.