The decision to file for bankruptcy comes with many stressors. There is a lot of pressure from the lack of finances and increasing amounts of debt. Many people fear that everyone will find out they have filed for bankruptcy protection. Bankruptcy is designed to be an tool that provides assistance to those experiencing tough times, and not a punishment. Although filing for bankruptcy is public information, it doesn’t have to be public record that changes your life in a negative way. Everyone is afforded the right to protection of privacy, even in bankruptcy. There are laws that prohibit some of your personal information from being disclosed in public record. Certain personally identifiable information must be protected at all times. Your social security number is provided to your creditors as an identification tool, but cannot become public record. The biggest concern with your privacy in bankruptcy has nothing to do with people finding out you filed for bankruptcy, but the risk of your personal information not being fully protected from view.
Protecting Your Information
Information that is used to identify you must be redacted. Redacted means that the information must be edited in such a way that the information is protected, but that you can be identified with partial information. Displaying the last four digits of your social security number or last two digits of your birth year are examples of how identifiable information can be redacted. Although laws require your personally identifiable information to be redacted, it is not uncommon to find violations of this rule. Ultimately, it is up to you to ensure your information is protected. Your bankruptcy attorney is responsible for redacting your personally identifiable information on documents. However, it is a good idea to review your bankruptcy documents with your attorney to make sure your information is protected. If your personal information is not redacted on your initial bankruptcy petition, you may be considered to have waived your right to redacted information.
Preventing Identity Theft
There are growing concerns over identify theft resulting from bankruptcy filings. In recent years, identify theft has taken on extreme measures of stealing your personally identifiable information, accumulating thousands of dollars in debt and filing for bankruptcy under your name. Not only can your end up liable for the debts, but reversing the damage to your credit can take months. If you find out you have been a victim of bankruptcy identity theft, follow these steps to begin the process to minimize damage to your personal information.
Contact your local police department and Federal Bureau of Investigation immediately to file a complaint.
Write a letter to the U.S. Trustees in your region providing proof of your identify, along with an explanation of your identity theft case.
Contact the Internal Revenue Service to provide them with a letter of explanation, proof of your identity, a police/FBI case reference number. You will also be required to fill out a 3949-A form.
Hire your own attorney to represent you in court and assist you with your identity theft case.
Time is crucial for managing cases of identity theft and fraud. In order to prevent identity theft, monitor your credit reports often and contact any creditors at the first sign of unauthorized changes. Keeping your personal information private can be a chore in itself, but the consequences associated with letting your personal information out can be far worse.
Eventually, You can also take help of modern privacy protection software to provide safety from Ransomware threats, Identity threat and password thefts.