Filing bankruptcy is a difficult decision; however, it is often the first step on the road to a stronger financial future. After you make the decision to file bankruptcy, your bankruptcy attorney will need you to provide details about your assets, debts, income, expenses, and financial history. Your bankruptcy attorney uses this information to complete the forms that must be filed with the court. It is extremely important that you are completely honest with your bankruptcy attorney because you sign these forms under oath and under penalty of perjury before they are filed with the bankruptcy court.
Teresa Guidice of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” was fined $8,000 and sentenced to 15 months in prison in October 2014 for bankruptcy fraud. Guidice and her husband, Giuseppe Guidice, filed bankruptcy in 2009; however, they failed to disclose several and all of their income. Judge Esther Salas told the Guidices, “I’m not sure you respect this court. I’m not sure you respect the law.”
Your bankruptcy attorney’s job is to represent you in bankruptcy court; however, he cannot perform his job to the best of his ability if you are not 100% truthful with him. When you try to conceal information in your bankruptcy case, you can be prosecuted for bankruptcy fraud and the penalties can be severe as the Guidices discovered. In most cases, a forgotten creditor or minor error that is not due to fraud can be corrected but purposefully being dishonest with your bankruptcy attorney can cause huge problems in your case in addition to fraud.
Most issues that people believe they need to hide from their bankruptcy attorney can be resolved if they are honest with the attorney. It is when a person hides something that it becomes a problem. For example, a debtor hides the fact that she owns an expensive diamond ring that belonged to her grandmother for fear of losing the ring when she files bankruptcy. The court discovers the fraud and the debtor loses the ring.
However, had she been honest with her bankruptcy attorney about the ring, he would have probably advised her to have the ring appraised because its true value is not as much as she believes it to be and the ring can be fully protected with bankruptcy exemptions. While your bankruptcy attorney may not be able to resolve every issue in every case, most “problems” that people worry about turn out not to be a problem if they are completely honest with their bankruptcy attorney.
Contact an Experienced Mount Holly Bankruptcy Attorney
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The Law Office of Travis J. Richards, LLC is a full-service Mount Holly bankruptcy law firm focused on Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, debt consolidation, credit repair, tax liens, student loans and foreclosure. We represent clients in Burlington County and throughout South Jersey.
Contact our office at 609-267-5297 to schedule your free consultation to discuss bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy alternatives. You may also use our convenient online contact form and one of our friendly, professional staff members will contact you to answer your bankruptcy questions and/or schedule a free consultation with Travis J. Richards.
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