When you file for bankruptcy, you are required to list all of your property and any assets you have transferred to others within a particular time period on your bankruptcy paperwork. Failing to do so can cause you to be accused of bankruptcy fraud. The relief bankruptcy affords you is a powerful one, and frees you from the burden of overwhelming debt. However, it does cost your creditors. Bankruptcy law attempts to mitigate this loss by establishing a bankruptcy ‘estate’ (i.e. – the remaining property) after your exemptions (those assets which are kept to maintain a job and household).
Although, most people who file for bankruptcy are honest hardworking people, some individuals can be tempted to hide property and assets. Here are some examples that if caught, could be considered criminal:
- Failing to list all assets on the appropriate bankruptcy schedule;
- Concealing a property transfer prior to the bankruptcy filing (i.e. – giving a boat or car to a friend or family member);
- Creating a false document;
- Destroying or withholding documents, and
- Paying someone to help hide property from the court.
The consequences of engaging in such activities are harsh. Anyone who makes a knowingly false statement in association with a bankruptcy filing can be assessed fines up to $250,000 and receive up to 5 years in prison. Regardless of your occupation or status in life, if you are found guilty of bankruptcy fraud- you face real consequences, criminal prosecution and even jail time.
Bankruptcy trustees are experts at finding undisclosed cash, property, vehicles, boats, jewelry, antiques, and collectibles. If you are caught trying to hide assets, the consequences are big. Your discharge will be denied, and you will be unable to discharge the debts you listed in a subsequent bankruptcy filing.
If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.