Bankruptcy fraud is a federal criminal offense that can have very serious consequences, including a fine up to $250,000 and a five-year federal prison sentence. Because of these severe potential penalties, you never want to even face the accusation of fraud during the course of your Long Island bankruptcy. The following are three of the most common forms of bankruptcy fraud and how you may avoid them.
Giving False Information to the Court
All documentation you file with the court is done so under the penalty of perjury, just like any oral statements under oath in court. Any false statements or omissions may be considered an attempt to defraud the court. Even an unintentional mistake may raise questions of possible fraud, so you always want to ensure all documentation is correct and that all questions are answered thoroughly.
In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, many filers have to forfeit some property or assets for liquidation to help pay their creditors. Some bankruptcy filers may be tempted to report less income or assets than they truly have in order to hold on to as much as possible. Additionally, some filers try to temporarily transfer property to friends or family members in an attempt to hide them. Concealing property from the court can land you in serious trouble, and an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you make use of the Long Island exemptions to keep the maximum amount of property without hiding anything from the court.
Following a bankruptcy discharge, you must wait a certain number of years to file again in Long Island, depending on the type of bankruptcy you filed. Some people attempt to use false names, social security numbers, or other information to try to file multiple times in Long Island. Never be tempted to use false information in a bankruptcy because, as discussed above, giving false information is serious bankruptcy fraud.
If you are considering bankruptcy, you should always have an experienced Long Island bankruptcy attorney guide you through the process to ensure that all procedures are correctly followed and that there are no signs of potential fraud. Attorney Ronald P. Weiss can help you complete your bankruptcy as quickly as possible with minimal complications, so please contact our office today at (631) 271-3737 for a free consultation.