Bankruptcy is the best choice for many who are facing serious financial difficulties. However, bankruptcy does not always go smoothly, which is why it is important to work with an experienced bankruptcy attorney and be completely transparent during the bankruptcy process. If you attempt to hide anything during the process or you are less than honest about your financial situation, it can hinder your filing and result in even more financial damage. It is possible for a court to throw out your bankruptcy filing, leaving you in no better a situation than you were when you decided to file.
What should you consider about transparency during your bankruptcy filing?
Make the details included in your paperwork as accurate as possible.
Work carefully with your bankruptcy attorney to avoid mistakes when filing. If your paperwork is riddled with mistakes, the court can grow suspicious that you are trying to hide something. Even if you have honest mistakes on your paperwork, the court can consider you indifferent to providing truthful information and throw out your case. A few minor oversights shouldn’t hurt your case, but you must make an effort to be as accurate as possible.
Filing requires you sign a document stating that, to the best of your knowledge, the details included in your paperwork are accurate. If you sign this form and the court believes you have intentionally included dishonest information, you can face perjury charges. Keep in mind omitting information is just as serious as presenting false information.
Share information about debts under dispute.
If you have any debts listed in your credit report that you believe are inaccurate, you must include them when you file. Just because you are disputing a debt does not give you the authority to omit them from your filing. You can list debts as contingent and you can notify the court you are disputing certain debts, but you must include them when you file. Your bankruptcy attorney can help you determine exactly how to list debts in your filing.
Include personal debts in your filing.
Some people fully intend to pay back loans from lenders they know personally, so they omit them in the bankruptcy filing. They assume since they do not intend to cheat the person they owe, there is no need for that debt to be released. Unfortunately, not including these debts on a bankruptcy filing is considered fraud. Include all of your debts, no matter where they originated.
Notify the court of upcoming payments and expected assets.
Sometimes people file for bankruptcy knowing they will be receiving money in the near future. For instance, you might be listed in the last will and testament of a relative who has recently passed. If you know an inheritance is on its way, you must inform the bankruptcy court of the forthcoming money. In most cases, you must disclose significant amounts of money headed your way, but your bankruptcy attorney can explain exactly what assets must be included in your bankruptcy filing. In some cases, assets can be protected, but it is important to have legal guidance to determine which can be protected legally.
If you have questions about bankruptcy or you are concerned about completing the paperwork associated with filing, contact the experienced legal experts at the Law Office of Brian R. Lewis.