The Dangers of Hiding Your Assets During a Bankruptcy Proceeding

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy but aren’t sure how to properly disclose your assets, you are not alone. Many consumers naturally want to hold on to their hard-earned money and property. Unfortunately, hiding your assets when filing can have devastating legal consequences. Read on to find out why you need to fully disclose your assets to your bankruptcy attorney and to the court.

Case Dismissal

When you file for bankruptcy, you are legally required to disclose all your debts. This includes unsecured and secured debts and any money you may owe to friends and family members. Even if you do not intend to hide assets, the court views transferring money to family members before filing as a fraudulent act and can demand that these funds be returned. If the court determines that you have hidden assets, your case can be thrown out.

Mandatory Delays

If your bankruptcy claim is denied, you are liable for all your debts. If you are unsure of which debts to disclose, always err on the side of caution by sharing your entire financial history with your attorney. If the court denies your petition because you have hidden assets, you will face a mandatory waiting period before you can file again, and may not ever be able to discharge debts associated with the original claim.

Criminal Charges

Bankruptcy fraud is vigorously prosecuted by the IRS, and hiding assets may even lead to criminal charges. If you are convicted of fraud, you may face both financial devastation and prison time. Your attorney can make sure that you file in accordance with federal laws.

When you file for a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7, you need an experienced attorney to ensure that you abide by all law requirements and do not inadvertently hide or disguise your assets. Call Burr Law Office at (262) 827-0375 to find out how Milwaukee bankruptcy attorney Michael Burr can help you affordably discharge your debts.