If you are filing for bankruptcy, it’s imperative to ensure you list all debts and assets. Unfortunately, many falsely assume they can get away with hiding assets, which can lead to more severe issues and serious penalties if uncovered. As such, it’s in your best interest to work with a Memphis, TN consumer bankruptcy lawyer to help you ensure you complete this process to achieve the best possible outcome for your circumstances.
Why Might Someone Hide Assets During Bankruptcy?
If you are filing for bankruptcy, it’s essential to understand the implications of doing so. When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will likely need to liquidate your assets so they can be used to pay back creditors for the debts you owe. As such, many worry about losing property and items that hold sentimental value, so they choose to hide assets. With Chapter 13, these assets may be taken into consideration when determining your ability to adhere to a repayment plan.
As such, those worried about losing these assets may lie about the assets they have and alter documents to make it seem as though there is no proof it exists. Similarly, someone may try to transfer assets out of their name to another person so they do not technically own the item or property.
What Are the Consequences of Hiding Assets?
If it’s discovered that you are hiding assets when filing bankruptcy, you can face severe consequences. When your trustee uncovers the hidden assets, they will file a lawsuit with the court. Once this claim is reviewed, the courts will deny the discharge of your debt. As such, you will be liable for all debt that could have been discharged if the procedure was followed.
Not only will your bankruptcy claim be thrown out, but you will also find that you will likely be unable to have the debts discharged in the future. Unfortunately, you also risk criminal charges if proven that you intentionally attempted to defraud the system by hiding assets.
How Can I Ensure I List All My Assets?
If you’re worried about going to jail for forgetting to list an asset, don’t worry. If you realize you did not include an asset when filing, you can make an amendment as soon as you remember. It must also be proven that you intentionally intended to omit the asset.
However, if you want to ensure this process goes as smoothly as possible, it’s in your best interest to enlist the assistance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Unfortunately, this process can be complex if you attempt to navigate it on your own. As such, letting a dedicated lawyer guide you through filing can be invaluable.
When you need help filing for bankruptcy, the Arnold Law Firm is ready to assist. Our legal team has the experience you need to make this process as simple as possible. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.