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The worst place you can go is jail. And yes, you can go to jail for bankruptcy fraud. There are a number of different types of bankruptcy fraud. Before I get into fraud and what it is let me be very clear, always be honest. The most common types of fraud are lying or hiding assets. That would be a big no no. Other types of fraud is using your credit cards just prior to filing for bankruptcy. A creditor can object to that and have that debt declared non-discharged. Don't use your credit cards at least 90 days before filing for bankruptcy. And don't take out cash advances or balance transfers within a year of filing. That can be fraud as well.
Don't transfer assets, especially to insiders or family members. Don't sell real estate to somebody for a $1.00. Don't take your credit cards to the casino and then file for bankruptcy. I would say use some commonsense if it sounds dishonest or like it might be illegal it probably is.
If you suspect someone of committing bankruptcy fraud you are suppose to report them directly to the Department of Justice:. Office of the U.S. Trustee
ATTN: Office of Criminal Enforcement
George C. Young Federal Building and Courthouse
400 W. Washington Street, Suite 1100
Orlando, FL 32801
This is a criminal matter. If you are convicted of Bankruptcy fraud you could get 5 years in jail and up to $250,000 in fines.
Some of the most common forms of fraud are hiding property or lying about value. You are ask to disclose everything you own when you fill for bankruptcy. You are ask to sign under penalty of perjury as to the value of that property and against ask to testify under oath that your schedules are truthful. If you lie you have committed a crime. People make mistakes. You are given opportunity to amend a common mistake but if you are trying to hide an asset it is a crime. Ans remember a non disclosed potential law suit against someone is a lie.
Another big one is transferring assets or giving them away. You just can't do that. Its fraud.
Paying a relative debt before filing bankruptcy is a fraudulent transfer. Paying anyone a large sum of money within 2 years of filing for bankruptcy that you did not receive any value for is a fraud.
Putting personal information that is not true is fraud.
Bottom line, be honest when you are going through a bankruptcy. If you see a mistake contact your attorney and have it corrected. Disclose, disclose , disclose. If you do that you will have no trouble and you will find that a bankruptcy really can give you a fresh start.
Remember that you can go to jail for bankruptcy crime so you should have a bankruptcy lawyer that is well versed. I handle all of Michigan I am in Hartland which is close to Brighton White Lake charter Township Howell