4 things NOT to Do When Filing Bankruptcy
We can all thank Robert J. Freeman for providing us with an example of exactly what NOT to do when filing bankruptcy. The 56-year-old television evangelist has been sentenced to more than 2 years in prison after the court found him guilty of obstructing bankruptcy proceedings. This is in association with his 2005 filing. How does one “obstruct” his or her own bankruptcy proceedings? Pastor Freeman did so by attempting to hide assets, including luxury vehicles and a home worth more than one million dollars.
Reports are that the home and many other unreported assets were financed by members of his church, who leased vehicles and obtained loans to support his ministry. In addition to his jail sentence, he has been ordered to pay restitution to church members, some of whom lost their own homes and jobs in the process.
While this is obviously an extreme case, it brings to light the fact there can be serious consequences for failing to follow the rules when filing bankruptcy. Now, I’m not saying that if you make a mistake or an omission in your documentation for the court, you’re going to go to jail. What I am saying is that it’s important to know what not to do when you file, in order to avoid delays, complications and possible consequences. Here’s a list of things you should NEVER do when filing any type of bankruptcy:
1. Don’t forget to report any of your assets. Although most people wouldn’t consider following Freeman’s example, even the most honest person can overlook some of the things he or she owns when “taking inventory” for the court. Remember that even items you’re financing may still be considered assets and need to be reported.
2. Don’t attempt to hide assets. People often give in to the temptation to “temporarily” give some of their belongings away in an attempt to protect them. After all, if your entertainment system ends up at your brother’s place, it isn’t yours, right? Wrong. Even the smallest infraction can lead to dismissal of your case and/or more serious repercussions and it simply isn’t worth it.
3. Don’t hedge when reporting income. It’s easy to forget to report some sources of income, especially if it involves cash payments. It’s also a mistake. Don’t give the judge a reason to question your integrity by omitting anything that’s kept food on the table during your financial crisis.
4. Don’t forget to report any debts. This is a more common mistake than you may think, for various reasons. First of all, you may simply overlook a creditor or two. It’s also common to believe that any debts you don’t want discharged or aren’t eligible for discharge shouldn’t be reported, although it’s far from the truth. Remember that your qualification for protection is based on the amount you owe and the amount you receive. Even unsecured personal loans should be reported. Some debts can be reaffirmed, even in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The court will help you determine what can and should be discharged.
An experienced attorney can ask the right questions and provide sound advice to make sure your petition is in good order when you file. If you need help, contact accomplished REDLANDS BANKRUPTCY LAWYER Jeff Larkin. To seek advice from CORONA BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY Jeffrey Larkin, call 877.25.NEW.HOPE for a free consultation today or visit his BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEYS IN CARLSBAD CA Google+ Local page.
For more details, Please visit our website: https://larkinfirm.com