Bankruptcy laws are designed to protect honest individuals who find themselves in financial turbulence. But what happens when you are dishonest to the bankruptcy court? Bankruptcy fraud can put you in a world of trouble.
When filing for bankruptcy, you are required to sign a number of disclosure statements that your paperwork is “complete and accurate” (to the best of your knowledge). People do make honest mistakes, so those types of errors are not punished. It is when the mistakes are deemed to be purposeful that the matter of fraud comes into question.
If the bankruptcy court suspects that anything in your bankruptcy filing is a lie, the trustee will investigate the matter. If they determine that you did, in fact, intend to deceive them in your bankruptcy filing, you could face perjury charges. Perjury is a federal crime, the penalty for which is prison time of up to five years—this is what happened to Real Housewives Theresa Giudice!
When filing for bankruptcy, the whole point to wipe your slate clean of all debt. If you are found guilty of bankruptcy fraud, not only will the bankruptcy court refuse to discharge your debts, you can also be fined.
Avoiding Bankruptcy Fraud with an Experienced Lawyer
Theresa Giudice’s story was unusual and not the norm when it comes to the vast majority of bankruptcy filers. The clients who come into this office are honest people who have fallen on hard times in life. When working with an experienced attorney, there is little to no chance a person will be accused of bankruptcy fraud, as the attorney will make sure the entire process is explained in full.
Washington D.C. bankruptcy attorney Kevin D. Judd represents clients in bankruptcy court throughout the District and Maryland.