The last thing you want to do when asking for bankruptcy protection is lie to the judge! A woman in upstate New York learned her lesson the hard way when a federal judge recently threw the book at her for failing to disclose that she could afford payments on her leased Mercedes. The 33 year-old was sentenced to two years of probation and 50 hours of community service. Luckily, for her, she pled guilty to defrauding the court, because had prosecutors needed to spend efforts further prosecuting the case she may have ended up behind bars.[i]
One of the comments to the article: “Simple mistake. I countless friends of mine have done the same thing.” Not Yet Hacked Bluesman (response to his comment: “Nice ‘friends’ you have!” seniorplus)
So, you think…”probation isn’t that big of a deal…I’ll risk fibbing…” Here are some of the results you might earn if you fail to list assets and the trustee and the court find out (as noted in a recent Nolo legal resource article[ii]).
- The court will disallow your discharge of debts. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 because you’re done and just wasted your time and money.
- Your bankruptcy case may still be active but you may not receive discharge protection but may have to sell or turn over assets while keeping debts.
- The trustee could revoke your discharge, and you will need to go back into repayment of your debts. This may happen at any time before or after your case is closed by the court.
- In subsequent bankruptcies you might not be able to discharge the debts involved during the bankruptcy proceedings in which you were not truthful.
- Criminal charges could be fined against you. As in the case of the “hidden Mercedes” payments, you could end up with a criminal conviction and sentencing. No fun.
If you want to learn more about bankruptcy proceedings, contact an attorney at Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. The firm’s website contains informative videos about financial issues as well as bankruptcy protection for families who want a fresh start. To keep in touch and read about consumer finance news and stories you can Like the firm’s Facebook page and Follow Joseph Wrobel. Ltd. on Twitter. If you need legal assistance please call Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. by dialing (312) 781-0996 to talk to an attorney.
[ii] Hiding Assets in Bankruptcy: It’s never a good idea to hide assets in bankruptcy. Here’s wny.