Bankruptcy concealment lands Illinois woman in hot water

Whether people in Illinois are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13, they are legally required to put together a complete list of their assets and debts, according to the Illinois Attorney General. Assets include any bank account balances, family heirlooms, real estate, retirement plans, vehicles and expensive furnishings. Debts include bank loans, credit cards, mortgages, child support/alimony obligations and living costs. When people fail to disclose all of their assets, they can find themselves in legal trouble.

This happened recently with a woman living in Carterville. The woman stated that she paid for family and personal expenses out of a workers’ compensation claim settlement for $17,500. However, when she filed for bankruptcy, she chose not to disclose that payout to the court. It is uncertain how authorities discovered the hidden money or whether there was anything left. Consequently, the woman was charged with committing bankruptcy fraud. Now, she faces a prison sentence of up to five years after entering a plea of guilty.

There are many rules and guidelines in place when it comes to filing for bankruptcy, Therefore, people may find it worthwhile to enlist the help of an experienced attorney. The attorney can help them understand how bankruptcy works, choose the right bankruptcy filing for their situation, point out what assets they may be able to keep and prepare their paperwork. An attorney can also answer any questions filers may have and assist them in gathering together a complete list of their financial obligations and their monetary assets.

Source: The Southern Illinoisan, “Carterville woman pleads guilty to bankruptcy fraud,” Dustin Duncan, July 13, 2016

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