Bankruptcy relief is a very powerful remedy. Quite literally, with a few exceptions, all of your legal, contractual obligations to pay debts are discharged and nullified. Creditors can never pursue you for collection on those debts. If you do everything that is required by the bankruptcy code and the associated bankruptcy rules, the debt relief you receive is a certainty. When you choose to file for bankruptcy relief, no one comes to your house to see what you have and take inventory of your assets. However, the benefit of bankruptcy relief is only for the “honest but unfortunate debtor”. In other words, you must be completely forthright and honest in disclosing and listing all of your assets and all of your creditors. You’ll be required to review your bankruptcy petition and related schedules with your bankruptcy attorney and you will be required to sign off on them under oath and subject to penalty of perjury. One way a bankruptcy case can be rejected is if one intentionally fails to list all of one’s assets and creditors. Another way a bankruptcy case can be rejected is if one is sloppy and negligent in preparing and reviewing one’s bankruptcy petition and schedules. Mistakes and errors in one’s sworn bankruptcy petition as a result of sloppiness or inattentiveness to necessary details can be often construed as an intentional failure to list one’s assets and creditors. If one intentionally fails to list one’s assets and creditors or if mistakes are made due to one’s sloppiness in preparing a bankruptcy petition, one could be accused of bankruptcy fraud and the bankruptcy court could completely deny one’s bankruptcy relief. If the supposed fraud is serious enough, one could even be prosecuted, fined and incarcerated. Behm Law Group, Ltd. offers expert legal advice and assistance to help you avoid conduct or mistakes that could be construed as fraudulent behavior when you file for bankruptcy in Windom, MN.
With the help of an experienced bankruptcy attorney, it’s much less likely for someone filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy to commit unintentional fraud. When you choose to complete your bankruptcy petition without professional assistance, your chances of making serious mistakes—an occurrence that can come in the form of providing inaccurate information on your bankruptcy forms and schedules, failing to attend required meetings/hearings, failing to undergo credit counseling prior to filing, or several other rare circumstances—are increased.
In addition to the several reasons you can accidentally commit fraudulent behavior on your bankruptcy petition, there are many ways one can commit willful bankruptcy fraud.
If you file a bankruptcy petition with clear fraudulent intentions, our attorneys will decline to work with you. For example, if your situation reveals that you’ve committed any of the following actions, we will not represent you:
- Created false documents
- Failed to list all assets
- Withheld or destroyed documents relevant to your case
- Hid a property transfer, including personal gifts of property that may be involved in your bankruptcy case
- Bribed or paid-off a creditor, lender, or other party to hide information pertinent to your case
In more common circumstances, filers who willfully commit fraudulent behavior may have done the following:
- Provided inaccurate income and expense information in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case or prior to filing for bankruptcy relief or when submitting credit applications to creditors from whom one may have sought a loan
- Purchased various items, such using credit cards to engage in gambling activities, not identified as “necessities” prior to filing for bankruptcy.
- Writing personal or business checks while planning to file for bankruptcy in a short period (i.e. writing a bad check)
If you have engaged in any of these or like activities, you must fully disclose every detail to your bankruptcy attorney before you elect to file for bankruptcy relief. Such conduct could be a basis for a finding of bankruptcy fraud. Indeed, bankruptcy may not even be an appropriate remedy for you to pursue. If you’d like to discuss filing for bankruptcy in Windom, MN, and take full advantage of the debt relief benefits provided by the bankruptcy code, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.