The bankruptcy laws were put in place to give honest but unfortunate debtors a chance to return to financial stability. When you enter into bankruptcy, you are entering a fishbowl of sorts. All aspects of your financial life will be subject to examination by a trustee, the court or creditors. As a consequence, there are a number of circumstances where you can risk losing a discharge or having your discharge denied because of misrepresentation or dishonesty. As a general rule, once you have been denied a discharge, you may never again be able to pursue a discharge of any debts you had at the time of the denial.
Here’s how you can risk the loss or denial of a discharge.
- You lie or make a false statement in any document or proceeding during the bankruptcy process. This can include falsification of assets or income, as well as misrepresentation of debts. When you file a petition in bankruptcy, you essentially make an oath that the representations you make during the process will be true and accurate. If it turns out that you made false statements of fact, or that there were material omissions in your filing, your discharge can be denied or withdrawn.
- You conceal, destroy, alter or intentionally dispose of information relevant to your financial condition. This includes the destruction of documents that would indicate ownership of property or access to assets.
- You transfer, remove, conceal, alter or destroy property that may be seized by the bankruptcy court to pay one of your creditors. This rule applies to all such acts within one year before the bankruptcy filing and after the filing.
- You cannot explain the deficiency or loss of any assets.
- You refuse to comply with any legitimate order issued by the bankruptcy court.
These problems can be solved or avoided through careful attention to detail and qualified, ethical advose of a bankruptcy attorney. Such advice is very important.
Contact Neuner & Ventura, LLP
At Neuner & Ventura, LLP, we provide a free initial consultation to every client. To set up a meeting, call Neuner & Ventura at 856-596-2828 or send us an e-mail. We do, however, reserve the right to charge a fee to review any work done by another attorney. Evening and weekend appointments are available upon request.