Am I required to provide my checking account information to the attorney for a debt collection agency?

UPDATED: Oct 21, 2011

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Am I required to provide my checking account information to the attorney for a debt collection agency?

I am the defendant in a debt-collection lawsuit. The plaintiff’s attorney is requesting my checking account records to “compare with the last recorded payment date for the subject account.” The plaintiff is an assignee on the original account. Am I required to provide personal banking information?

Asked on October 21, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Until and unless legal process--e.g. a notice to produce documents; interrogatories; or a subpoena--are used, you don't need to provide this information; that is, you don't need to respond to something which is a mere "request." On the other hand, once the legal mechanisms of discovery described above are used, you will have to supply it, since it is relevant and germane. Even personal information is discoverable in a lawsuit. You may, however, be able to redact (or remove) the bank account number, or at least most  of it (maybe leave just the last 2 -  4 digits, for identification), since that information is both sensitive (it could allow someone to access your account) and is not itself relevant (the plaintiff doesn't need your full account number for this purpose).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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