The attorney-client privilege rule prevents a client from being compelled to reveal communications (written or verbal) between himself and his attorney that was for the purpose of obtaining legal advice with the expectation that the communication would be kept confidential.
What this means is that a debtor cannot be compelled to reveal information that he has expressly told his attorney that he expects to remain confidential. This expectation of confidentiality must be expressed to the bankruptcy attorney explicitly. The client also has the power to waive this privilege either fully or partially.
During a bankruptcy case sometimes the bankruptcy trustee will request information about communication between the attorney and the bankruptcy client that is privileged and confidential. The bankruptcy client has the right to refuse to answer this question if it is actually protected under attorney-client privilege.
Sometimes, it a bankruptcy client will decide to answer a question that is privileged information and in that case the client should make sure that the bankruptcy trustee and attorney understand that he/she is waiving his/her privilege for that question only.
Many times when a debtor is considering bankruptcy advice they are afraid to speak with an attorney because they think the information can be used against them. For debtors considering bankruptcy, please understand that any legal advice received from a bankruptcy attorney will be protected under the attorney-client privilege rules.