The bankruptcy trustee wants copies of credit card applications that I don't have.

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Question:

My bankruptcy trustee wants copies of my credit applications for credit cards and credit lines. What if I don't have them?

Answer:

When you file for bankruptcy, the trustee appointed in your case is required by the bankruptcy laws to investigate your financial affairs. This investigation can take many forms but it is very common for the trustee to request documentation relating to financial transactions. (Learn more about the bankruptcy trustee's duties in your case.)

This often includes requesting copies of any applications you may have submitted to obtain credit cards or credit lines. The request is generally a follow up to your answer to the question in the Statement of Financial Affairs (one of the forms you file in your bankruptcy) which required you to list all financial institutions, creditors and other parties to whom you provided a financial statement within the two years preceding the bankruptcy. If your financial troubles started more than two years ago, the trustee might even want to look back farther for an accurate explanation of your current financial situation.

Why Might the Trustee Want Credit Applications?

Sometimes the request is part of a standard list that your particular trustee sends in every case. Other times, the trustee may be looking for something in particular, like

  • undisclosed assets that you currently own
  • information on assets that you used to own
  • changes in income, or
  • undisclosed income sources.

Often the requested documents simply confirm what you have already disclosed in your schedules and testified to at the creditors meeting.

What to Do If You Don't Have Credit Applications

While the trustee can request these documents, it would not be unusual if you did not have all of them. You should gather what you do have, tell the trustee what you don’t have and offer to contact the creditor directly to request the information. Keep copies of any written requests and inform the trustee if the creditor has not responded or refused to provide the information, so that the trustee can follow up with the creditor.

To learn more about what the bankruptcy trustee does in your case, see The Bankruptcy Trustee.

Updated by: , J.D.

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