The chances are that if you are experiencing financial difficulties, you may be considering filing for bankruptcy. Like most types of complex financial matters, there is the possibility of criminal exploitation involving personal bankruptcy. There are people in Oregon and elsewhere who will falsify or manipulate information for their personal gain. It is important that you understand the aspects of bankruptcy fraud so you do not unintentionally violate a rule and be suspected of wrongdoing.
According to the Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute, bankruptcy fraud is a type of white-collar crime. Most people who engage in bankruptcy fraud come up with elaborate schemes to avoid authorities detecting their criminal actions. For example, you might hear about someone filing false forms or filing for bankruptcy in numerous states using incorrect information. He or she might even bribe a bankruptcy trustee. Many instances of bankruptcy fraud involve additional crimes, such as identity theft, money laundering and mortgage fraud.
The most common type of bankruptcy fraud involves the concealment of assets. When you file for bankruptcy, you are required to list all your assets, in addition to your debts. You may not realize that failing to list an asset, such as a vehicle or land that you own, may result in your bankruptcy case being thrown out and possible criminal charges. Therefore, it is in your best interest to be honest to the full extent of your knowledge during each stage of the bankruptcy process. This information is meant only for educational purposes and should not replace the advice of a lawyer.