Why Hiding Assets Is Dangerous When Filing Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy Lawyer

In the U.S., most Americans have debt. If you are one of many who find that your debt is overwhelming, then your best option may be to file bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can restore your financial health. It provides you with a chance to clear your debt and start with a fresh slate. As a bankruptcy lawyer from a firm like the Law Offices of Ronald I. Chorches can explain, when you claim bankruptcy, it is possible to lose some of your assets. For example, if you have multiple homes, you could have to give up a non-primary home to pay off the debt before discharging the rest.

If you’re worried about losing your property, is there ever a good reason to hide your assets? Here is what you need to know about the consequences of hiding property during bankruptcy.

How Can People Hide Assets?

There are a few ways that someone might try to hide property. It’s important to know what might be considered hiding assets if you’re filing bankruptcy. The most common way to hide property is to lie. If you state that you have fewer assets than you own, this is a form of hiding them. Likewise, if you devalue your assets or create a false mortgage to make it seem like there is low value assigned to an asset, it can be seen as fraudulent. The other major sign of fraud is when you transfer your assets right before a bankruptcy, not to have to disclose them. While you can do this, you also have to report it.

What Are the Consequences of Hiding Assets?

Some people act out of fear, whereas others may think it is okay to leave assets out of the bankruptcy proceedings. If you hide your property, then you could face penalties and charges. Keep in mind that the bankruptcy trustee is a well-trained individual who is more than likely to find any hidden assets. If you lie about property, you may have your discharge revoked or you could face criminal charges. Criminal charges could lead to high fines and up to 20 years in prison. It’s always safer to list your property.

If you’re going through bankruptcy, keep in mind that some property is exempt from being taken to pay off your debt. If you want to keep as much of your assets as possible, make sure that you claim all of your property. To find out more about what you need to list during bankruptcy, consult with a bankruptcy lawyer today.