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Taking care to prevent accusations of Chapter 7 bankruptcy fraud

Faced with mounting debt and a limited ability to repay those obligations, many Tennessee residents will consider seeking bankruptcy relief. For most, that process will be completely unfamiliar. Having never gone through a bankruptcy filing in the past, most consumers find the paperwork and other aspects of Chapter 7 bankruptcy overwhelming. While moving through the bankruptcy process, it is absolutely critical to avoid errors and omissions that can lead to accusations of fraud.

This topic is highlighted by recent charges against a former neurosurgeon in relation to his bankruptcy case. Prosecutors allege that the man intentionally acted to conceal assets and fraudulently transfer wealth to others to prevent financial loss during bankruptcy. Specifically, the man is accused of transferring more than $500,000 to another individual and acting to hide just over $300,000 as well as certain items of personal property.

If convicted, the man could face many years behind bars, in addition to a $250,000 fine. As of the time of this report, the case is ongoing and no determination of guilt has been made. The man's bankruptcy settlement was reached in 2016, and he was ordered to pay $2.3 million to the bankruptcy estate for distribution to creditors.

Many Tennessee residents will not face these types of accusations during the bankruptcy process. However, any time that one's bankruptcy paperwork or other information suggests discrepancies, the court is likely to pay close attention. Some individuals face accusations of fraud that are based on unintentional errors and omissions. The best way to avoid that outcome is to work with an experienced bankruptcy attorney on a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing

Source: billingsgazette.com, "Former Billings neurosurgeon charged with bankruptcy fraud", Clair Johnson, Sept. 29, 2017

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