Preparing to file bankruptcy can be overwhelming or even scary. You may worry that you’ll miss an important step or inadvertently do something wrong or illegal, simply because you didn’t have all the information you needed. By choosing to work with an experienced, professional bankruptcy attorney, you can put your mind at ease over any fears of accidentally committing fraud.
Examples of Bankruptcy Fraud
Part of my role as an attorney is to educate you about the bankruptcy process in general. It’s important for you to understand what qualifies as fraud. The most common types of bankruptcy fraud include:
- Hiding Assets – When people attempt to protect their property by selling, giving it away or omitting it from their bankruptcy paperwork. This could be considered fraud and could be punishable by up to 5 years in prison, fines of up to $250,000, or both.
- Filing False or Incomplete Forms – Making additional changes to your paperwork can be seen as fraud. This includes leaving off some of your debt or accounts in an attempt to keep the lines of credit. Another consideration is purposefully decreasing your income in order to pass the MEANS TEST and qualify for a Chapter 7.
- Filing Multiple Times in Several States – This is an obvious attempt to get around the rules of bankruptcy. Consumers may only file a Chapter 7 once every 8 years and Chapter 13 once every 2 years. Filing with false information, under a false name, or in multiple states is illegal.
- Bribing a Court-Appointed Trustee – This type of fraud is rare and is an extreme example of bankruptcy fraud that includes not only the debtor who is filing, but the trustee as well. This is a serious offense, as the trustee’s role is to represent the court.
Ensure Your Case is Handled Accurately
When you’re in the position of filing bankruptcy, the last thing you need on your mind is additional worries. By contacting an experienced bankruptcy attorney, you can rest assured that your case will be filed accurately. Hiring a lawyer ensures that things get done quickly and legally.
I’ll guide you through the entire process from our first meeting, where we’ll decide which chapter to file, to your 341 meeting, and through your Chapter 13 repayment plan, if you go that route. Your responsibility is to be honest about your situation and focus on rebuilding your financial situation. Soon you’ll be headed toward financial freedom and starting the next chapter of your life.