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Aware of Someone Fraudulently Hiding Assets While Declaring Bankruptcy? Report It.

Posted by: Admin User

Perhaps you were told a story while visiting someone who had filed for bankruptcy protection. He may have mentioned to you that he was hiding a piece of property, and did not declare it when he filed. He is committing bankruptcy fraud, which is a very serious offence punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and/or up to 5 years in prison.  If you know that someone is fraudulently hiding assets, and they have declared bankruptcy, report that information. Reporting can be done anonymously. If you are uncertain where to report a situation such as this, call an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer and ask.

The information you will need to provide if you choose to report bankruptcy fraud is the location of the Court where the person filed (which district within which State), the individual’s full name and address, and a brief note about the situation, with as much information as you have available. It is best if you can outline the kind of fraud the debtor allegedly committed, such as hiding an asset, illegally transferring an asset, or lying about owning an asset.  Rest assured it is okay for you to simply put it in your own words.  No one expects you to be familiar with legal terminology, just be as specific as possible about the incident you are reporting, and how you came to know the details of what supposedly happened. If you want to include your contact information, you may.

When your report is complete, send it to the U.S. Trustee Program at: Executive Office for U.S. Trustees Criminal Enforcement Unit 20 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Suite 8000 Washington, DC 20530. If you happen to also know the individual’s bankruptcy case number, the Trustee appreciates that as well. You may be able to find that information online, as all bankruptcy case files are readily accessible to the public.

You may also choose to report the bankruptcy fraud to the police, the national U.S. Trustee’s office, your local state field office, or the bankruptcy court. You can find telephone numbers for some of these locations on the U.S. Trustee Program’s website. Once you have given your report to the authorities, do not automatically expect a personal response. You may not ever directly hear back from them on the status of any investigation that may or may not be underway.

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 Monday, October 15th, 2012 and filed under News and Press | Comments Off on Aware of Someone Fraudulently Hiding Assets While Declaring Bankruptcy? Report It. .
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It is Possible to Start Rebuilding Your Credit Rating After Bankruptcy

Posted by: Admin User

 

Many people believe that once they have declared bankruptcy, they will never again have a “good” credit rating. This is a myth. 

A debtor’s credit rating can be hit with as much as a 100-point deduction upon filing for bankruptcy relief. However, the debtor’s credit rating does not need to stay at the same low level for the ten years that the bankruptcy will be on record. There are a number of ways the debtor can regain points and rebuild credit, even after bankruptcy. It just takes time, patience, and some effort. As incredible as it may sound, a debtor may even start to rebuild their credit rating the day after his or her bankruptcy has been discharged. A good Iowa bankruptcy lawyer may advise their client of this during their consultations. 

If you are a debtor looking to rebuild your credit score after having filed bankruptcy, the first thing you should do is to get a copy of your credit report and review it carefully. Credit reporting agencies do not always have accurate information. Even though a bankruptcy lowers your credit rating, you may find that there are other inaccurate or expired pieces of information that you may be able to have removed, and the removal of these inaccuracies will increase your credit score. If you do find errors, you should dispute them. To do so, check each credit reporting agency’s website for details on how to file a dispute. 

Even immediately after receiving your debt discharge in bankruptcy, you may apply for a new credit card. While you included most or all of your credit cards in your bankruptcy, you will likely still qualify for either a secured or unsecured credit card. The rates will be higher and the limit will be lower than before, but a new card is a good place to begin rebuilding your credit score. Stick with one or two cards, manage your purchases carefully, and don’t overspend. You want to prove that you are a responsible borrower. If you have any questions, speak to an experienced Iowa bankruptcy lawyer. 

Remember to keep your credit card balances low because your credit score keeps track of the amount of debt you are carrying, your payments, and the amount of credit available to you. It is wise to keep your debt load at about ten percent of your total available credit. Let’s say your available credit is $15,000. You would want to keep your purchases around $1,500, and promptly pay your balances in full each month. Paying your outstanding balances in full and on time is an effective strategy to increase your credit score. To stay on track, make a schedule or set reminders of when your payments are due, and be sure to pay them on time or even ahead of time. Over time your credit score will improve. It will take some time for your dedication to this method to actually reflect in your credit score, so you must remain steadfast in your efforts and focused on your goal. 

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 Friday, October 5th, 2012 and filed under News and Press | Comments Off on It is Possible to Start Rebuilding Your Credit Rating After Bankruptcy .
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