The best way to avoid being caught in bankruptcy fraud is to know what it is. Every year, millions of people file for bankruptcy. Of all the cases filed, approximately 10% are not entirely genuine. IRS takes bankruptcy fraud seriously, and hence it is better to be aware of the laws that govern. Bankruptcy fraud falls under federal crime.
People file for bankruptcy to have a fresh financial start. But sometimes, they inadvertently or intentionally hide details of a property or lie about their assets to avoid their sale. If it is discovered that you have hidden facts about your financial assets to cheat creditors out of their money, they can take legal recourse to claim their money.
Main types of bankruptcy frauds
Four main types of bankruptcy frauds are hiding details of property owned, filing multiple times, stating incorrect facts on the bankruptcy form and trustee fraud. The consequences could be a fine or a prison statement of up to 5 years. If you are aware of someone committing bankruptcy fraud, you can report the matter with the relevant details either in person or to the US Trustee Program online. It is the lawyer who advises the client on what he can do and what he can’t. Hence, the defence lawyer in a bankruptcy case begins with the attorney who helped the client file the bankruptcy to see if that can be used as a defence.
Value of assets
When filing, people hide or understate the value of their assets, and this is the most common form of bankruptcy fraud committed. If you transfer the property to someone else to keep it from being sold to pay off creditors, it is counted as fraud.
When filling the form, it is best to be honest and report accurate facts and figures. Laws also state the number of times one can file for bankruptcy. Using false names and SSNs to gain benefits in the same state is a fraud.
The last of the four
Trustee Fraud is considered the worst of the lot. The trustee appointed by the court is lured mostly by payment of a bribe to commit fraud. A bankruptcy fraud lawyer is the best person to advise someone on dealing with a situation that names you as the culprit. Other common frauds involve not reporting giving gifts or bonuses to executives and intentionally not reporting vacation or other benefits. Companies must follow the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, and failure to do so may result in a civil lawsuit.
Accounting fraud lawyers are hired to fight cases when a company is taken to court over misrepresented data. If it is proved that fraud has been committed, the penalty is levied, which can include monetary fees or time in prison. The seriousness of the fraud decides the quota of punishment. The management is also held responsible as a vigilant administration cannot miss or overlook facts grossly misrepresented.
There have been cases when people have availed a loan just before filing for bankruptcy. Most people filing for bankruptcy do so with the help of an attorney.