Last minute suggestions before filing bankruptcy

Under the penalty of perjury, you need to swear that the information disclosed in the bankruptcy papers is true and complete. One of the primal things include that if the forms are incomplete or inaccurate it can lead to dismissal of your case by the court. Even worse the court can take legal action if it is found as intentional.

If you leave something off mistakenly it can be corrected later by explaining the mistake to the trustee. But if the action appears as a careless action the court can dismiss your case based on that ground. Any deliberate attempt to hide assets or use any false information will affect you in a way that can be disastrous than your debt crisis. Here a few last minute suggestions which will help you avoid these circumstances. Consider these before you decide filing bankruptcy:

1. Include all creditors while listing:

If you think providing incomplete information will help your case, you will be making a serious mistake. If you do not list some of your creditors, the debts you owe to them will not be wiped out by your bankruptcy discharge. So do not miss out any of your creditors whom you owe money. You can indicate that the debt is "disputed" or if it is a subject of a pending lawsuit, you can list it as "contingent". When your bankruptcy gets over, you will not owe any debts that have been discharged. If a disputed debt is discharged, the entire dispute will be considered as irrelevant. The creditor will be prohibited from collecting anything if you include them in the list.

2. Do not be partial while listing creditors:

If you are partial while listing your creditors it can turn out a real problem in the long run. You may think of omitting those creditors whom you are fond such as a relative or a friendly local business person. But this is not a great idea no matter how kind your intentions are. It would be better if you make sure that all of your creditors get their fair share of what you have, and that certain obligations (like child support) are not shortchanged. If the bankruptcy trustee comes to know that you have intentionally omitted some creditors from your list, it may result in suspicion on your forms.

3. Do not leave out any income that may come in recently:

When you are listing your property on bankruptcy forms, remember to include all of your property. This should include those that you have and those that you are due to get from various sources like:

  • Property inherited from a recently deceased relative that you are yet to receive.
  • Stock options, trust funds, or tax refunds
  • Pensions, retirement funds, annuities, and life insurance.
  • Judgments from lawsuits you have filed or can file, arising from a personal injury or other matter.

4. Avoid hiding any assets or other financial details:

It will not be a good idea to hide your properties or financial details deliberately. If you do not disclose your property, or omit important information you case may get dismissed on the context of fraud.

5. Include all exemptions :

When you are disclosing income on the Statement of Financial Affairs include the income that is exempted in bankruptcy. Exemptions such as Social Security and child support payments can be included in these. If the debtor is being paid in cash or “under the table” that should also be included in the bankruptcy filing’s Statement of Financial Affairs.

6. Disclose your spouse’s income:

When filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy or Chapter 11 bankruptcy you need to disclose your spouse’s income too. When filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy disclosure of your spouse’s income is not required on the Statement of Financial Affairs. But as your spouse’s income is already listed on the Means Test, many bankruptcy attorneys list it though it is not a compulsion.

If you still have the notion that hiding information about your finances will help in boosting your finances, shake off this misconception. Avoid hiding any facts or figures regarding your finances so you can be safe from any legal hassles later. Disclose everything, hide nothing, that is the golden rule!

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