By the time you've reached the point of filing Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the temptation may be to "fudge" a little on the details you include in your filing package. Doing so will only prolong or worsen the situation you are attempting to resolve. Under the new laws enacted in 2005, bankruptcy attorneys are personally responsible for all information in a bankruptcy petition. So, Evergreen Park bankruptcy lawyers have a personal stake in helping you provide all the necessary information to the bankruptcy court.
Don't exclude creditors
Perhaps one of your creditors has been particularly kind to you during your ordeal or perhaps you know them personally and you are tempted to exclude them from your list of creditors and attempt to pay them off privately at a later date. This almost always never works and prevents you from achieving the relief that bankruptcy will ultimately afford you. Plus, if you omit certain creditors and the trustee becomes aware of this, you will have to add these creditors in and that can raise suspicions about the rest of your information.
Include any revenue or property due you, but not yet received
When you list property and income in your filing package, be sure to list any assets or income due you, but not yet received. Some examples are:
-- A recent inheritance.
-- Stock options, tax refunds or monies from trust funds
-- Structured settlements
-- Pensions or retirement funds
You may claim some of this as exempt and keep it, but it must be listed so the court will have a clear picture of your assets.
List All Creditors
Omitting creditors from your list defeats the purpose of going through the bankruptcy process. You receive no relief from these debts and your creditor is still in limbo. If a creditor claims you owe them money and you think you do not, list them anyway and term them "disputed." If a debt is already being contested in a lawsuit, you may list them as "contingent" based on the outcome of the lawsuit. At the end of the bankruptcy process, you will no longer owe any of these debts, including the ones that are contested, and the dispute will be irrelevant. Evergreen Park bankruptcy lawyers can help you classify these debts if you are unsure.
Do not try to hide property
This will surely come back to haunt you. When you sign your prepared bankruptcy papers, you declare that all information in them is correct to the best of your knowledge and you will be held to the truthfulness of them under penalty of perjury. Intentionally filing incomplete or incorrect information can lead to your case being dismissed or your being charged with perjury. Honest mistakes are expected and can be corrected with a reasonable explanation to the trustee.
Trying to defraud creditors
The role of the bankruptcy court is to act as a neutral party between you and your creditors to settle outstanding debts. The trustee is charged with the responsibility of fairness to both you and your creditors. Attempts on your part to untruthfully state your position or to deny these creditors what they are legally due can result in deepening the severity of your situation. Some examples of actions sure to raise red flags with the trustee are:
-- Transferring assets to family or friends in an obvious attempt to hide their existence.
-- Maxing out credit cards just before filing for bankruptcy, especially if the purchases are for luxury items.
-- Concealing property
-- Concealing debts
-- Lying about income or monies and property due you.
Remember that truthfulness in bankruptcy filing is to your benefit and will put you on the path of rebuilding your credit. Evergreen Park bankruptcy lawyers have the expertise and experience to help put you on that path.
When faced with overwhelming debt and the possibility of bankruptcy, Evergreen Park bankruptcy lawyers can help get your financial situation back under control.