Thursday, July 15, 2010

Don't Lie to the Bankruptcy Court

Fans of the show "Real Housewives of New Jersey", may know that Teresa Giudice and her husband filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  What they may not know is that the trustee assigned to the case has filed a lawsuit asking the bankruptcy court to prohibit them from getting a discharge.  The lawsuit, called an adversary proceeding, accuses them of hiding assets from the court and the trustee.   The hidden assets are said to include a pizza parlor, laundromat, Teresa’s TG Fabulicious clothing line and the “Skinny Italian” cookbook.

The original bankruptcy petition filed by the Giudices did not even list bank accounts.  Even with at least 2 subsequent amendments, many of the Giudices assets seen on the show were apparently left out.  The trustee seems to have taken notice of these omissions.

Section 727 of the Bankruptcy Code allows the court to deny a discharge if debtors lie under oath or try to conceal assets.  Committing perjury in a bankruptcy case is a federal crime that could bring fines of up to $250,000 and/or a jail sentence up to 5 years.  To add further insult to injury, the debtors will still lose their assets.  The Giudices will soon be losing many of their home furnishings, tools and a boat.

An attorney can only provide proper advice with full disclosure from the client.  Lying to the trustee and the court simply is not worth the risk of losing your discharge or going to jail.  If you are in Southern California and need advice about properly protecting your assets in bankruptcy, please me today at (619) 448-2129 for a free consultation.

About the Author: Carl H. Starrett II has been a licensed attorney since 1993 and is a member in good standing with the California State Bar, the San Diego County Bar Association and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. Mr. Starrett practices in the areas of bankruptcy, business litigation, construction, corporate planning and debt collection.

1 comment:

Bankruptcy attorney said...

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