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Types of Bankruptcy Fraud

Posted by: Admin User

It is really intimidating filing for bankruptcy. Often people make mistakes on filing, or try to hide assets and property.

Filing for bankruptcy is an overwhelming decision. Actually sitting down with a skilled Iowa bankruptcy lawyer and reviewing your situation often causes anxiety. It is a big step and the whole process can be overwhelming, which is why it is a smart move to hire a qualified Iowa bankruptcy lawyer to help you get through the maze of rules and regulations.

Some people may be scared to admit to what they have in assets, because they do not know for sure what to declare. Others deliberately lie about their assets, property and spending habits. In both cases, not fully revealing all of your assets and complete financial situation may result in the court dismissing your bankruptcy petition. You may face penalties, fines and possible jail time. If you are facing bankruptcy, make certain you fully understand what constitutes bankruptcy fraud.

What many people do not realize is that it is possible to commit bankruptcy fraud before they file for bankruptcy protection, or even before they may be aware they may need to file. Sales or gifts of property or money during the two-year period before filing a bankruptcy are examined in minute detail by the bankruptcy court. The reason for this time frame is that, in most instances, bankruptcy means seizing and selling the debtor’s assets.

Some debtors then try to keep their property by transferring it to a family member or best friend. If property or other assets have been transferred during the two-year period, and the court deems the transfer was not for a legitimate and fair reason, they may find you liable for fraud. This is not the only way to commit fraud. In fact, another common method is providing false information to the court by leaving assets off the schedule of assets, or claiming exemptions that are not applicable. In both of these situations, the debtor is intentionally making a false statement to the court in the hopes they can get away with something. The court does not take bankruptcy fraud lightly.

Another method debtor’s have used to attempt bankruptcy fraud is to give a creditor a false statement. An example would be taking out a personal loan and stating your income was $60,000 a year. The bank would give you a loan based on that stated income, which is false. When you file for bankruptcy, the bank will ask the court to not declare the loan as discharged in the bankruptcy. If the credit institution is able to prove your statement of income was a lie and that your statement convinced them to loan your money, you will not be able to discharge that debt. In other words, you will still need to repay the loan after the bankruptcy has been processed.

Kevin Ahrenholz is an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer and Iowa bankruptcy attorney. To contact him, visit http://www.iowachapter7.com or call 1.877.888.1766.

Posted on Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 and filed under News and Press | Comments Off on Types of Bankruptcy Fraud .
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What is Fraudulent Bankruptcy?

Posted by: Admin User

Debtors who withhold information on purpose when filing for bankruptcy are filing a fraudulent bankruptcy.

People often withhold information when they file for bankruptcy. It may be due to the fact they are not sure about what they need to include in their filing, or they are keeping the information to themselves on purpose. Withholding information constitutes a fraudulent bankruptcy under the rules of the Bankruptcy Act of 2005, which means it is considered to be a federal offense. Additionally, the statute of limitations for bankruptcy fraud cases depends on what kind of concealment was involved.

When a debtor files for bankruptcy, they are responsible to provide all relevant information about their financial status, assets and spending habits. This type of information is used by the court to figure out your eligibility for bankruptcy, and once this material is filed, you get an immediate stay to halt all collection activities.

The most common types of bankruptcy fraud attempted are trying to conceal property or income. The debtor does not include information that is required by omitting income sources and/or jobs and does not list property in the petition. Property could include vehicles, homes, or jewelry. Other types of fraud that debtors have been known to try are receiving property from someone who is planning to file for bankruptcy relief and then not mentioning it during their bankruptcy hearing.

Officially, the statute of limitation for a fraudulent bankruptcy is five years. In other words, it is the median, but it is best to keep in mind that it does not go into effect until the bankruptcy case is discharged or denied. An example of this would be an individual filing for Chapter 13, with a five-year plan to repay all or a portion of their debts. If the bankruptcy was fraudulent, the federal court then has five years after the discharge, the end of the payment plan, to begin prosecuting the debtor. Put another way, the federal government had a total of ten years to build a bankruptcy fraud case against the debtor.

You should also be aware that after a discharge is granted, the bankruptcy court can move to revoke it. They would do that based on the determination that the discharge was approved as the result of the debtor hiding pertinent financial information from the scrutiny of the court. The creditor’s lawyer has one year to petition the court to revoke the discharge before a separate statute of limitations kicks in. As you can see, this is a very complex process.
If the debtor is found guilty of bankruptcy fraud before the statute of limitations expires, this is a felony offense, with a fine of up to $250,000 and five years in jail. On top of this possible consequence, other creditors have the option to take legal action once they are made aware the bankruptcy discharge was revoked or the case denied.

Kevin Ahrenholz is an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer and Iowa bankruptcy attorney. To contact him, visit http://www.iowachapter7.com or call 1.877.888.1766.

Posted on Sunday, May 13th, 2012 and filed under News and Press | Comments Off on What is Fraudulent Bankruptcy? .
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