Bankruptcy is a balanced system designed to help debtors recover from severe financial struggles and reenter the economic system as a productive consumer while remaining fair to creditors to whom debts are owed. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court oversees the outcome of bankruptcy cases for both individuals and businesses filing for bankruptcy, but the case details are handled through an appointed bankruptcy trustee. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy in St. Peter, MN, Behm Law Group, Ltd. can help you build a strong case.
One of the things trustees are highly efficient in finding within a bankruptcy case is evidence or potential for fraud. While most incidents of fraudulent behavior in a bankruptcy case are intentional, there are times when mistakes or misunderstandings can lead to a technical fraud. Understanding when and why a trustee determines an action is fraud is an important step to protecting yourself when filing for bankruptcy.
What is Considered Fraud When Filing for Bankruptcy?
There are several actions and events that can be directly or indirectly considered fraud in an individual consumer or business bankruptcy case. When this fraud is intentional, it’s generally straightforward for a trustee to dismiss a case based on those actions and events. Direct, intentional bankruptcy fraud most often includes:
- Lying and falsifying documents of financial records such as records of personal loans
- Purposefully filing incorrect bankruptcy forms
- Falsely reporting income amounts
- Hiding assets and accounts
- Lying under oath
- Transferring accounts and assets to other parties to hide them from creditors and your trustee
- Creating a fake identity to hide assets or otherwise lie
- Bribing your trustee, creditors, or court officials to your benefit
- Embezzling any amount from your bankruptcy estate
These actions and events are the common types of fraud a bankruptcy trustee will base a case dismissal on, but there are other fraudulent behaviors that may occur. Indirect fraud is often caused by ignorance of your circumstances or mistakes in your bankruptcy documents. With the expert advice and assistance of Behm attorneys, you can avoid unintentional fraud including:
- Missing bankruptcy forms or financial document records from your petition
- Forgetting to pay bankruptcy fees or not understanding which fees apply to your case
- Filing incorrect or incomplete financial information and bankruptcy forms
- Missing deadlines or appointments accidentally
- Building an infeasible Chapter 13 repayment plan
- Failing to report changes in employment or income (as long as it was not intentional)
- Attempting to apply exemptions where they cannot be applied
- Any other unintentional signs of fraud that are caused by a lack of understanding of the requirements of filing for bankruptcy or simply by mistake
How Professional Counsel Helps You When Filing for Bankruptcy
When you work with Behm attorneys, you can trust us to help you build a strong case and eliminate any potential for mistakes in your documents and forms. With the protection and counseling we provide, you can rest easy on your road to debt relief through the bankruptcy process.
To get started with Behm Law Group, Ltd. or to learn more about filing for bankruptcy in St. Peter, MN, contact us at (507) 387-7200 today.