Part of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process is for the filer to disclose all of the exempt and non-exempt assets that they own so non-exempt assets may be liquidated to pay off some or all debts.
Some people may either forget that they have some assets or willingly conceal them from the court. If this happens, you could face serious consequences. Here’s what you need to know.
Your Debts Will Not Be Discharged
If the bankruptcy trustee of your case finds that you’ve concealed assets during the filing process, you may become ineligible to have your debts discharged. Your non-exempt assets will still be liquidated and used to pay your debts. Anything left over will still be your financial responsibility. Generally, this defeats the purpose of filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy versus Chapter 13.
If Your Debts Were Already Discharged, the Court Can Revoke Your Discharge
It’s possible to successfully conceal assets until your bankruptcy is approved. However, this doesn’t mean that you’re “home free.” The bankruptcy court has the power to revoke your discharged debts up to a year after the date of your discharge.
If You File Bankruptcy Again, You Will Still Owe Those Debts
Any debts that you listed on your original bankruptcy application cannot be listed in a future bankruptcy if you were found to have hidden or concealed assets. You may file bankruptcy for new debts that were incurred, but the debts from the original bankruptcy will remain your financial obligation and cannot be included in either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Criminal Charges May Be Filed Against You
When you sign your bankruptcy application, you do so under penalty of perjury. So if you are found to have falsified information or concealed assets, you could face criminal charges of perjury. In Florida, perjury is generally charged as a first-degree misdemeanor and is punishable by up to a year in jail and/or fines of up to $1,000. The judge will usually determine whether your case should fall on the lighter side of jail time and fines or on the heavier side depending on the seriousness of your case and how many assets were found to be concealed.
Get Legal Support from an Experienced Florida Bankruptcy Attorney Today
If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy to obtain relief from overwhelming debt, you’re not alone. An experienced Florida bankruptcy lawyer can help determine what type of bankruptcy you should file and will ensure that your application is accurate and thorough. Call Caplan Bankruptcy today for a consultation at 407-872-6249.