Filing for bankruptcy comes with it’s share of fears.Debt, foreclosure and
Laws afford everyone the right to privacy. Bankruptcy is no different. The problem with privacy in bankruptcy has little do to with public record, but the issue of protecting your information from full visibility. There are laws that require your personally identifiable information to be protected at all times. For example, your social security number is provided to your creditors as an identification tool, but cannot become public record. Such sensitive personal information must be hidden in such a way that you can still be identified without your full information being fully visible.
Protecting Your Information
To edit your personally identifiable information in a manner that can be both protected from full visibility, but still informative enough for identification purposes is a challenge. Personally identifiable information must be redacted. Redacted is a term that describes how the information is edited to protect privacy. It means that the information is edited in a manner that the information is protected, but that you can be identified with partial information. For example, when the last four digits of your social security number or last two digits of your birth year are displayed, this information is considered to be redacted. Other examples include, displaying the last four digits of a bank account number or the use of initials of a minor child.
Laws require your personally identifiable information to be redacted, but this is not always the case. There are many instances in which this rule was unintentionally violated. In a bankruptcy proceeding, it is up to your attorney to ensure your personal information is redacted. However, your personal information is your responsibility, so it is always a good idea to review your information before submitting legal documents. Many people may not realize that they have unknowingly waived their right to having their information redacted if the fail to do so on their initial bankruptcy petition.