Recently, Chapter 7 trustees have been asking debtors for passwords to PayPal, Amazon Prime and similar accounts. How this may impact Ohio debtors is unclear as the Justice Department does not approve of these questions. It is also unclear how the information is used or who may have access to it. The questions were asked by trustees in Maryland who demanded that debtors keep the accounts active and refrain from changing the passwords for 10 days.
Many consider the practice to be both intimidating and invasive, and it is also considered a departure from normal procedure. While trustees need to learn about any assets a debtor may have that may be eligible for liquidation, account passwords are off limits. At most, a bankruptcy trustee may ask for account information or information about recent transactions.
Some believe that there is no issue with asking such questions. However, proponents believe that there should be some basis for asking for sensitive information and that there should be some protocol for how it is handled. A member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys said that it would be easier to simply request that relevant information from such accounts when submitting bankruptcy documents.
Those who are seeking debt relief may find what they are looking for by filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy may allow a debtor to have most unsecured debts discharged within a matter of weeks or months. In some cases, it may be possible to have debts discharged without paying anything to creditors. An attorney may be able to discuss the types of property that may be exempt from the liquidation process. Legal counsel may also talk more about a possible stay against creditor collection activity after filing for bankruptcy.