Friday, October 12, 2012

Boise Bankruptcy Attorney 208-472-2383 Idaho Bankruptcy Lawyers

Bankruptcy: What Not to Do

In my Boise Bankruptcy practice I get several calls per month from people looking to file Bankruptcy.  I always offer a free consultation to go over Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 issues with them.  Inevitably people want to know what they need to claim and what they don't have to claim in their bankruptcy.  The conversation between me and the prospective client generally goes like this:

Prospective Client: "I don't want to lose my house so I won't want to tell the Bankruptcy Court that I own a house or tell my mortgage company that I am filing for Bankruptcy"

Boise Bankruptcy Attorney:  "You are required to divulge all your real property and any debt owing on it."

Prospective Client:  "I don't want to lose my car so I don't think I will included this in my bankruptcy petition."

Boise Bankruptcy Attorney:  "Again, you must include all your debt and property in the bankrutpcy petition."

Prospective Client: "Why, it's my property?  I own it."

And so goes the conversation.  I always try to explain to these people that I am not trying to mean insisting that they include everything, but that I am trying to make certain their bankruptcy is not denied because the committed fraud upon the court.  That's right.  The bankruptcy court can deny your petition if you intentionally lie about your assets.  While it is your property you have a certain obligation to pay debt owing on outstanding debts.

The bankruptcy court needs to know what assets you have that might be available, after exemptions, to cover some of your secured debt.  Bankruptcy is not just a simple way to get out of debt.  You are allowed certain exemptions, which your Boise Bankruptcy Attorney can explain to you, to allow you some ability to retain what property you have.  However, you are not allowed to hide your debt and property or pick and chose which creditors you will include in your bankruptcy.

Other Things Not to do in Bankruptcy
You should never leave out of your bankruptcy petition any income that you receive.  This includes your kid's part time income or income paid in cash.  All income of the household must be included no matter how small.

If you own a piece of property outright, you still must include it in the petition.  Some people are under the mistaken impression that if they don't have a debt obligation on a piece of property they are not required to list it.  That simply is not the case.  It is very easy for the bankruptcy trustee to do a search for title.  You will be serious straights if you don't include the property or you try to sell it right before you file bankruptcy.

A big no no in bankruptcy is transferring or selling property within 12 months of filing.  The bankruptcy court and the trustee will look at these very hard to see if you are trying to commit fraud on the court.  An example of this is when you owe a family member money.  If you pay them off and then turn around a file for bankruptcy the court will look at this as a fraudulent transaction.  Likewise, as mentioned above, if you own a car outright and you transfer title within 12 months of your bankruptcy the court will look at that as you trying to hide your ownership of the vehicle.

A word of advice from a Boise Bankruptcy Lawyer:  Don't go it alone.  There are so many ins and outs of bankruptcy law that if you don't know what you are doing you can end up getting yourself in trouble.  If you need to file for Bankruptcy and you want to speak to a Boise Bankruptcy Lawyer, give us a call, (208) 472-2383 and see what we can do for you.


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