What You Shouldn’t Do When Filing Bankruptcy
Nassau and Suffolk County Bankruptcy Lawyers / Queens County Bankruptcy Attorneys
Our bankruptcy attorneys have more than 100 years of combined legal experience. During the last three decades the Law Office of Elliot Schlissel has filed hundreds of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. Our attorneys have come across many mistakes, and misconceptions individuals who have filed bankruptcy have. The following advice applies to individuals who are considering filing for bankruptcy.
Don’t Hide Assets
You must be truthful in your bankruptcy filing. Bankruptcy documents are signed under penalties of perjury. There are severe penalties for lying on bankruptcy petitions. If you make an honest mistake the law will not punish you. However, an individual filing bankruptcy should never seek to provide mis-information to the court.
List All of your Creditors In the Bankruptcy Petition
Don’t hide information from your lawyer. You can discharge the debts for all creditors listed in your bankruptcy petition. Your attorney doesn’t know who you owe the money to. If you fail to list a creditor in your bankruptcy petition, the debt will survive the bankruptcy. This means at the end of the bankruptcy you will still owe this creditor the outstanding debt. You should list each and every possible creditor in your bankruptcy petition, even if you are not sure you actually owe that creditor money. You should even list creditors in your bankruptcy petition that you dispute you owe the money to. If a disputed debt is listed in the bankruptcy it will be discharged (eliminated) in the bankruptcy process whether you owed it to begin with or not!
Clients have often told us during their consultations that they don’t want to list certain creditors in their bankruptcy because they like them and they intend on paying them back. These types of creditors are often friends and relatives. You cannot discriminate among your creditors. You cannot play favorites among your creditors. You must list all of your creditors. Even the people you like. If you want to pay back some of your creditors, you can reaffirm the debts to them. This will allow these debts to survive the bankruptcy.
Future Property That May Need to be Listed In Your Bankruptcy Petition
There are various types of future interests an individual may have to be disclosed in your bankruptcy petition:
- Stock Options
- Trust funds
- Tax refunds
- 401K Plans
- Retirement plans
- Lawsuits you have against other individuals
- Assets you expect to inherit from someone who recently died
Listing these items in your bankruptcy does not mean that you will lose them. There may be exemptions within the bankruptcy code that allows you to keep all or most of the aforementioned items.
During your consultation with the lawyers at the Law Office of Elliot S. Schlissel we will discuss any of these relevant future interest issues with you. Call us now for a free consultation. We can give you peace of mind. Feel free to call toll free any time, day or night, at 1-800-344-6431, or in Queens, Kings, Richmond and the Bronx at 718-350-2802. You can also reach us in Nassau County or Suffolk County, NY at 516-561-6645. We welcome your inquires.