Bankruptcy Crimes V-6
See Transcript Below
The following is an adaptation of the transcript of Bankruptcy Crimes Video-6.
A debtor must be very honest and accurate in his or her dealings with the court. This includes filling out the Statement of Financial Affairs, and the Schedules truthfully. These papers and the debtor’s testimony at the 341 meeting are sworn to be true, under the penalty of perjury. There can be severe consequences for violating the duty of being truthful.
Providing the correct information to the Court is a step not to be taken lightly or casually. Bankruptcy is a serious event. It has some real benefits and can help people save their homes. It can help people relieve themselves from overwhelming debt.
However, along with those benefits, some serious responsibilities go along with the information contained in your Schedules and Financial Statements that have to be filed when a person files a bankruptcy case. These documents are signed under oath and under the penalty of perjury.
Sometimes people will transfer vehicles, personal property, or other things to their relatives, their parents or their friends in the hope they will keep the property until the bankruptcy is over. This is clearly a nondisclosure of assets and is bankruptcy fraud. In addition, any transfers that have been made within a certain time period have to be disclosed on the Schedules.
There is a criminal law that provides that if anyone files a petition or files a document that makes a false or fraudulent representation, then they may be subject to criminal prosecution and provides for fines and imprisonment, up to five years. As long as you tell the truth to the best of your knowledge and ability, you should not have a problem.
Be sure, be truthful, and make full disclosures to your bankruptcy attorney so that he or she can give you the best advice. If you think something maybe questionable or might be viewed as an improper action. He or she can tell you if it is a potential problem, and if so whether it can be corrected.
It is not worth the risk to try to do something improper, as the system has built in safeguards to prevent abuses. There is an old saying, “Bankruptcy is for honest debtors who just need help.”
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