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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 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).


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