Woman pleads guilty in bankruptcy fraud case

Bankruptcy is an important process by which down-on-their-luck individuals can eliminate their debts and regain financial freedom. The process is highly regulated and it can sometimes become rather complex; however it still requires that debtors act openly and honestly when disclosing their assets. Failure to follow these regulations could land a debtor in serious legal trouble.

Mississippi readers who may be thinking about hiding their assets in their bankruptcy proceedings should consider the case of a Maryland woman, who recently pleaded guilty to charges related to concealment of assets in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.

The woman apparently filed bankruptcy to gain protection from a civil suit that her ex-boyfriend had filed against her. Instead of honestly declaring all of her assets in the bankruptcy petition, however, she concealed a number of valuable assets. These assets included two vehicles, stock worth over $10,000, a property she had recently transferred to her daughter for $1, and a diamond bracelet that she sold for $85,000. By failing to report these assets to the bankruptcy trustee, she committed a serious crime that led to an investigation by the FBI, and ultimately a guilty plea.

Bankruptcy is a tool for people who are seriously in debt, and it should not be entered into lightly. Certainly, it should not be used as a way to avoid debts and conceal assets.

However, given the complexity of some debtor's bankruptcies, some applicants may find it helpful to speak to a bankruptcy attorney, who can help them navigate their bankruptcy proceeding and avoid filing mistakes. With the proper assistance, for example, debtors can ensure that their petition is completed legally and correctly. This can help applicants avoid costly errors that could jeopardize their financial future.

Source: loansafe.org, "Maryland Woman Pleads Guilty to Filing Fraudulent Documents in Bankruptcy Case," Evan Bedard, Dec. 10, 2012

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