At Parkman White, LLP, our Birmingham bankruptcy attorneys always counsel our clients on the importance of being completely truthful in their bankruptcy petitions. Few firms in Alabama have the experience we have in not only guiding clients through the bankruptcy process, but also in representing them when they are accused of falsifying their bankruptcy petition. When you lie in your bankruptcy petition, you are risking being charged with Bankruptcy fraud, a serious white collar federal crime that can lead to years of imprisonment.
While bankruptcy fraud cases are rarely high profile, our bankruptcy attorneys are following the recent arrest of Real Housewife of New Jersey, Teresa Giudice. Teresa is best known for her table flipping rants and finger nail flying fights with her brother and sister and law, but she now has a bigger fight on her hand. Due to her recent arrest, she now has to battle with the 800 pound gorilla also known as the United States government.
While the details of the Giudice bankruptcy case and resulting fraud case are still sketchy, it appears from media reports that Giudice and her husband are accused of intentionally deceiving the bankruptcy court by hiding assets and their true incomes from their various creditors. Because bankruptcy petitions must be signed under oath and filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court, any misrepresentation on the petition is considered a serious federal crime. While the Giudice’s are innocent until proven guilty, their freedom now rides on the accuracy of their bankruptcy filings.
A good bankruptcy attorney will take advantage of all bankruptcy laws that will allow their clients to discharge as much of their debt as possible, while retaining as much of their assets as possible. This can be done by taking advantage of bankruptcy laws, which allow certain exclusions often only known by experienced bankruptcy lawyers. However, if the bankruptcy petition contains false information, a clear line has been crossed, which can lead to criminal prosecution and even lengthy imprisonment.
It is important to remember that when you are discharging debts, your creditors will likely not be fond of you, and will look for any reason to make allegations that your bankruptcy petition is fraudulent. These creditors, who now have no hope of collecting on your debt, will not hesitate to cause you grief by turning you in to prosecutors if they find the opportunity.