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Example of Redacted / Sealed Filing (best practices)

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I paid for my attorney for Chapter 7 months ago and now have less than $5, and plan to sign the petition tomorrow.


I just learned that he planned to put my full Social Security number and full account number on my filings and says "most people won't sign up for" PACER.  He apparently doesn't take privacy very seriously.  I expect to put my life together fairly quickly and don't want to deal with identity theft every 3 weeks for the rest of my life.


I sent him the following links:




1) Is it possible to file bankrupcy without my full Social Security number being available on PACER?

2) Is it possible to file bankrupcy without the last 4 digits of my Social Security number being available on PACER?


3) Is it possible to file bankrupcy without my full checking account number being available on PACER?

4) Is it possible to file bankrupcy without the last 4 digits of my checking account number being available on PACER? (in the case of a credit union, this is also my member number, and it can't be changed)


5)  Could someone point me to examples and assistance on privacy best practices? (I have a PACER account)

(e.g., put all the sensitive info on a separate document, etc.?)


I'm sorry about the last-minute nature of this, but I didn't realize this was an issue.  The bank accounts can be changed (although Donald Knuth's experience is that closing accounts still creates issues)



Thanks in advance.

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Rule 9037 is crystal clear.  Your attorney would be violating that rule if he were to include more than the last 4 of your SSN and checking/savings accounts.


He works for you.  Demand he redact pursuant to Rule 9037.


The rule says "may include only".  I would argue they aren't required to put even the last 4 digits because of the use of the word "may" as opposed to "must".  You can tell him to redact the whole thing and let the court order him to refile with the last 4 if they find it necessary.

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Thanks for the reply.  I think the requirement comes from Rule 1005:

Rule 1005. Caption of Petition

The caption of a petition commencing a case under the Code shall contain the name of the court, the title of the case, and the docket number. The title of the case shall include the following information about the debtor: name, employer identification number, last four digits of the social-security number or individual debtor's taxpayer-identification number, any other federal taxpayer-identification number, and all other names used within eight years before filing the petition....


Committee Notes on Rules—2003 Amendment

The rule is amended to implement the Judicial Conference policy to limit the disclosure of a party's social security number and similar identifiers. Under the rule, as amended, only the last four digits of the debtor's social security number need be disclosed


Committee Notes on Rules—2008 Amendment

...The rule also is amended to require the disclosure of the last four digits of an individual debtor's taxpayer-identification number. This truncation of the number applies only to individual debtors. This is consistent with the requirements of Rule 9037.





So I guess the question is whether there can be any exceptions to Rule 1005.


EDIT: Several references state that "Nothing in the bankruptcy code requires that you have a social security number to file bankruptcy."  This is reinforced by Form B21, which allows the option of "Debtor does not have either a Social-Security Number or an Individual Taxpayer-Identification Number (ITIN)"


It seems somewhat unfair that this unnecessary information is required on all the captions.

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