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Personal bankruptcy in California may have included info release

California readers may be interested to learn about a recent case involving a large bank. The case involves many people, likely including some in our state, who sought a personal bankruptcy. In each of those matters, the bank, Citibank, sought to file a creditor claim in an effort to obtain repayment for some of the debts that it was owed.

A creditor claim is commonly filed in personal bankruptcy cases in California. This is the action necessary for a creditor to alert the court to its intention to seek repayment. However, in most cases, all personal information of a debtor is redacted from the creditor claim.

Recently, it was learned that Citibank failed to redact the identification information of many who had field for a personal bankruptcy. This information was made public and included Social Security numbers and birth dates. Now, those affected will be offered a yearlong credit monitoring program so that they can ensure that their identities are not stolen as a result of the negligence of the creditor.

There are many questions for those seeking a personal bankruptcy filing in California. Among them are questions relating to the impact filing for bankruptcy protection will have on the filer's credit rating. The good news is that a credit rating can improve relatively quickly after a personal bankruptcy is complete and new credit is obtained. Unfortunately, some in our state may now also be on heightened alert to ensure that they can reap the benefits of the bankruptcy filing despite the disclosure of their personal data.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Citigroup Failed to Redact Personal Data from Consumer Bankruptcy Filings," Kristin Jones, July 15, 2013

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