Why You Should Not Try to Hide Assets When You File for Bankruptcy
If you are filing for bankruptcy, you must disclose all your assets and income. Failing to do so may result in the dismissal of your case and you could be charged with a crime. If you file for bankruptcy in Toledo, you must be truthful in your disclosures including all income, debts, and any assets you hold. If you want the court to discharge your debts, you need to show your means to repay them.
What to Expect When you Fail to Disclose Assets
If you file for bankruptcy, you may try to leave some of your assets off your disclosure or try to transfer them to somebody else. However, doing so could lead to the following:
- Case denial. If you don’t disclose all assets in your name, you won’t be able to get your debts discharged or create a court-approved repayment plan. You need to disclose even debts you are allowed to keep so their exemption can be verified by the court. When your bankruptcy case is dismissed or denied, your creditors can continue to collect your debts.
- Revocation of discharge status. Should your debts be discharged; however, if you have been found later that you hid assets during the bankruptcy, your trustee will request the removal of the discharge.
- Inability to discharge debts in a later bankruptcy case. You won’t be able to discharge any debts that were in a dismissed bankruptcy case because you hid assets. Thus, you can’t re-file your bankruptcy case and include the debts of the previous case.
- Criminal charges or penalties. Lying on your bankruptcy paperwork is a crime. This means you have committed perjury, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250, 000. Regardless of the value of the assets you want to hide from the court, you don’t want to risk 20 years of life to save those assets.
Hire a Lawyer to Protect Yourself in Bankruptcy
Filing for bankruptcy can be stressful. You are already struggling financially while dealing with creditors harassing you. You don’t have to complete legal paperwork alone. Rather, you must hire a bankruptcy lawyer. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can make sure you disclose all your assets and avoid accidentally perjuring yourself by filling out paperwork incorrectly. They will keep your rights protected during the bankruptcy proceedings. Also, a bankruptcy attorney knows which debts can be discharged and the best kind of bankruptcy to use to discharge your debt.