When it comes to bankruptcy, you must tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Bankruptcy petitions are filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court under the penalty of perjury. The U.S. Bankruptcy Code is federal law. Therefore, committing perjury in a bankruptcy case is a federal crime. The punishment for bankruptcy crimes includes but are not limited to fines of up to $250,000 and/or up to 5-years in prison.
Bankruptcy Petition Requirements
In your bankruptcy petition, it is critical that you disclose all of your assets, liabilities, income and expenses, and recent transfers of property to the Court.
Your bankruptcy petition must include a complete list of your assets along with the value of the assets. This includes your house, car, bank accounts, and other personal belongings. To understand how and why you get to keep most or all of your assets and belongings through bankruptcy, read our article What Property & Belongings Are Protected in Bankruptcy?
Your petition must include a list of your liabilities, which are all of the debts you owe to every creditor. For various reasons some people have creditors who they would rather not list in their bankruptcy, but you must list all creditors.
Your petition must also include a schedule of your income minus expenses. You must disclose all of your income. This includes income from your job, from a business, even income from selling used items on eBay. You must also disclose your monthly expenses.
Finally, there are other mandatory disclosures that must be made in your bankruptcy petition. When you work with The Law Offices of Barbara B. Braziel we will ask you the right questions to help ensure that your petition is complete and accurate.
Lies & Omissions
Certainly lying, or purposely making false statements, is a crime. What about omissions of information? Intentional omissions with the intent to defraud is a federal crime. An omission determined to be a mistake is not criminally punished. It is the intent to defraud that is punished. If you have already filed for bankruptcy and you are worried that information was left out of your bankruptcy petition, we encourage you to contact your bankruptcy attorney immediately.
Do You Swear To Tell The Whole Truth?
Every person who files for bankruptcy must attend a Meeting of Creditors. At this meeting, you will be questioned under oath by the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case. While this meeting isn’t nearly as scary as it sounds (you will not be grilled by your creditors), the meeting is conducted under the penalty of perjury. Making false statements at The Meeting of Creditors is a federal crime. For more information about this meeting, read our article A Survival Guide to The Meeting of Creditors.
Together we will work through the bankruptcy petition. Prior to filing, you will review your entire bankruptcy petition to ensure that is it complete and accurate. The experienced attorneys at The Law Offices of Barbara B. Braziel are committed to making the bankruptcy process as smooth as possible for all of our clients.
We’re located in the Savannah, GA area. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss the benefits of filing for bankruptcy.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.