If you’ve watched The Real Housewives of New Jersey recently, you are aware that one of the families on the show has had meetings with attorneys broadcast, giving viewers a peak at how the bankruptcy process works.
While the Real Housewives producers may script some of Teresa Giudice’s discussions with her bankruptcy attorney, one thing is clear—you should always be honest when it comes to reporting your assets. Giudice and her husband Joe filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2010, citing $11 million in debt. According to multiple news outlets, the Giudices were accused of fraudulently concealing assets by the trustee handling their case for concealing assets. As a result of the alleged dishonesty, the couple withdrew their bankruptcy petition, while Joe invoked his Fifth Amendment rights in court.
The Giudice case is a clear example that honesty is the best policy when it comes to bankruptcy proceedings, whether you’re filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Not disclosing your assets is a punishable crime, as you can face fraud charges. People are sometimes scared that friends or family members are going to find out about personal information like income and debt levels through bankruptcy, but the only way to rid mounting debt is to be as honest as possible. People don’t want to lose their stuff, and attorney can help. Creditors and trustees have ways of detecting any dishonest information that may be included in a filing, as most assets have trails of documentation.
The potential for prosecution is not worth worrying about some of your financial information being made public. Attorneys and court professionals are not going to be surprised by anything that comes up during a bankruptcy process, as they are use to handling these types of cases. Filing for bankruptcy allows you to discharge unsecured debts like credit card debt and medical bills. Bankruptcy allows you rebuild your financial life, while making it easier to repay any debts that cannot be discharged over time.
Talk to an attorney about your plans. If you have issues with mounting debt, contact our office now for a free consultation.
Law Firm of Kevin D. Judd– Washington DC bankruptcy attorney