Hiding Assets From A Bankruptcy: What You Need To Know

If you choose to file for bankruptcy, you are required to include all the information regarding your assets. You have to be truthful and upfront about what you own in your asset disclosure. If you feel tempted to try and hide some of your assets, you should proceed with caution. Here are some things you should know about not disclosing your assets in bankruptcy:

Why Would You Hide Your Assets?

Some people may believe that hiding assets from a bankruptcy that they will not lose them in the process. While an accidental exclusion can happen, you should not intentionally try to hide your assets. Hiding can include simply not including the asset in your petition or putting an asset into another person's name. If you do any sort of hiding, you can face major penalties. You may even face legal troubles if your attempt to hide your assets is especially pervasive.

How Will the Trustee Find Out About a Hidden Asset?

The bank trustees have years of expertize in detecting any issues in a bankruptcy petition. The trustee will go over every part of your petition and carefully review your banking information, tax returns, and any public records. They can easily find out if you recently tried to move your assets around in attempt to hide them.

What Happens if You Are Caught?

If you get caught trying to hide assets in your petition, you can face some problems. First, any asset you want to discharge will not be included and you will still owe the debt. If you are trying to get out of debt, this can set you back if the debt is very large. You can also face a criminal perjury charge. This can cost you thousands of dollars in penalties and possibly time in jail.

What If the Asset Was Accidently Not Disclosed?

If you truly forgot to include an asset in your bankruptcy petition, such as items you co-own with someone else, old retirement accounts from a past job, or trusts left to you a long time ago, you need to let your trustee know right away. Your bankruptcy can be amended as long as the trustee believes you were not intentionally trying to hide anything.

If you are filing for bankruptcy, you should work closely with your bankruptcy attorney services practice to ensure you do not leave anything off your bankruptcy petition. He or she will help you go through your assets to make sure you list everything.