As we noted in The Bankruptcy Petition Requires the Whole Truth, when it comes to bankruptcy, you must tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Committing bankruptcy fraud is a very serious federal crime. Bankruptcy Fraud takes four different forms:
- Concealing assets to prevent them from being seized.
- Intentionally filing false or incomplete forms.
- Filing multiple times in multiple states, using real or false information.
- Bribing or attempting to bribe a bankruptcy trustee.
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.
Concealing or Hiding Assets
Attempting to conceal or hide assets is the most common form of bankruptcy fraud. This is when a debtor attempts to hide valuable assets in an effort not to lose the asset in bankruptcy.
If you file for bankruptcy, you have a duty to disclose all assets in your bankruptcy petition. Failing to do so can amount to bankruptcy fraud. Further, transferring assets out of your name, possibly to a relative, in an effort to hide the asset can also amount to bankruptcy fraud.
Filing False or Incomplete Forms
Purposely filing false information and lying in your bankruptcy petition is fraud. Further, purposely omitting information with the intent to defraud is bankruptcy fraud. Your bankruptcy petition must be truthful and accurate to the best of your knowledge. Remember that bankruptcy petitions are filed under the penalty of perjury. While accidental mistakes or omissions are not criminally punished, they may nonetheless cause problems in your bankruptcy case.
Multiple Bankruptcy Filings
This type of bankruptcy fraud is committed when a person files for bankruptcy in multiple states, and uses either the same name and information, uses an alias, uses fake information, or some combination thereof.
Multiple filing fraud is likely committed to taking advantage of the different exemption schemes offered in different states, in an effort to keep more assets than are legitimately protected in bankruptcy.
Every bankruptcy case is assigned a bankruptcy trustee to oversee and administer the bankruptcy case. Bribing or attempting to bride a court-appointed trustee is a serious crime.
The Consequences of Bankruptcy Fraud Are Steep
Bankruptcy petitions are filed under penalty of perjury. It is critical that you be truthful and honest in your petition. Prior to filing your bankruptcy petition, you must review it to ensure that it is complete and accurate.
We invite you to learn more about who we are here. We’re committed to helping people get out of debt and gain the financial freedom they deserve. If you live in Savannah, GA or the surrounding areas and have questions about your debt relief options, let’s meet for a free consultation. Please reach out to us at (912) 351-9000 or contact us by filling out this simple web form.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.