What Are the Consequences of Hiding Assets During Bankruptcy?

hands over house

Filing for bankruptcy may serve as a fresh start for you, financially speaking. So you do not want to use deception and hide your assets during this fresh start. What’s more, there are penalties associated with such action. Follow along to find out the consequences of hiding assets during bankruptcy and how a proficient Rockland County bankruptcy attorney at The Law Offices of Allen A. Kolber, Esq. can help you avoid common mistakes.

What are the penalties for hiding assets during bankruptcy?

Understandably so, you may be worried about losing important assets in your bankruptcy proceedings. However, you must stay as transparent as possible throughout this process. This is because if a trustee finds out that you have been hiding your assets, you may be facing the following consequences:

  • You may be permanently barred from wiping out your qualified dischargeable debts (i.e., credit card bills, medical bills, past-due utility bills, etc).
  • A trustee may ask the New York State Bankruptcy Court to revoke or take back all the qualified dischargeable debts that you have wiped out thus far.
  • You may be permanently barred from wiping out these denied or revoked debts in your subsequent bankruptcy filings.

Arguably the worst penalty of all is that you may be facing criminal charges. This is because your hiding of assets may be considered a form of bankruptcy fraud. With this, you may be subject to a fine of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 20 years.

What else should I avoid doing during bankruptcy?

There are some cases in which forgetting to disclose certain assets is an honest mistake. For example, you may not know that you have to disclose a personal injury claim or insurance claim that you have filed, even if it is still pending. Or, you may forget to include the lottery winnings or annuities that you have yet to receive. It is also easy to overlook your retirement benefits when you are not of retirement age and therefore not collecting them yet.

If this applies to you, then it is in your best interest to immediately file papers to disclose your forgotten asset(s). You must not wait until a trustee brings it to your attention. This is because taking corrective action may help show the bankruptcy court that your intentions were not to hinder, delay, or defraud your creditors.

In the end, an attorney may help you ensure that none of your assets are left behind. That said, you must take the initiative and reach out to a talented Rockland County bankruptcy attorney at your earliest possible convenience. Our team at The Law Offices of Allen A. Kolber, Esq. will be happy to serve you in your bankruptcy proceedings.