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Filing for Bankruptcy? Avoid Doing These Things

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Bankruptcy can help many people and households in Indiana and across the United States find relief from overwhelming debt. However, there are specific rules and requirements for bankruptcy cases, and mistakes can lead to delays or denials of a discharge in your case. In some situations, suspicions of intentional misrepresentation on bankruptcy paperwork can lead to allegations of bankruptcy fraud and possible federal criminal charges. 

If you plan to file for bankruptcy, you want your case to go as smoothly as possible, and you certainly don’t want to end up in criminal court. The best way to avoid mistakes and protect your interests in a bankruptcy case is to seek help from an Indiana bankruptcy attorney from the very start. The following are only some things you should always avoid during the bankruptcy process.

Trying to Conceal Assets

Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves a discharge of your debts in exchange for your nonexempt property. Some people might want to keep unprotected property, so they might be tempted to simply leave it off of their bankruptcy paperwork. This is considered to be the fraudulent concealment of assets, and it can get you into big trouble with the bankruptcy court. 

Other people might try to give away possessions to friends or family members before a bankruptcy case. They believe they do not have to claim this property on their bankruptcy documents, and their friend or family can simply return it later. This is also considered to be unlawful asset concealment. 

Making Big Purchases

You might think that since your credit cards will be discharged at the end of your bankruptcy case, now might be a good time to rack up your credit balances by making some big purchases. However, this can lead to creditors challenging your discharge of those debts and might even result in accusations of fraudulent borrowing since you never intended to repay the debt when you made the purchase.

Leaving Off Debts

Perhaps you plan to keep one credit card, or you want to keep paying on a loan from your parents. You might simply want to leave those debts off your bankruptcy petition and handle them on your own. This is a mistake, as the law requires you to list all of your debts – even the ones you might not want to discharge. 

Leaving Off Income

In order to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you cannot earn more than the median income for your state and household size. Leaving income sources off your bankruptcy petition in order to qualify can lead to fraud accusations and the dismissal of your case without a discharge. 

Contact a Northwest Indiana Bankruptcy Lawyer Today

When you sign your paperwork, it includes an oath that you are providing complete and accurate information. Misrepresentations on your bankruptcy petition and documents are the equivalent of false testimony under oath in court, and you can face serious consequences. Avoid any trouble by seeking help from Whitten & Whitten about your bankruptcy case. Contact us to discuss how an Indiana bankruptcy lawyer can help.


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