The Bankruptcy Bargain

Here’s a hypothetical fact pattern for an initial consultation bankruptcy consultation:

I sat down with the potential client for an initial consultation, and began talking about the things she owned.  She gave me an uneasy look, and shifted in her chair.  I repeated the question, “Do you own any jewelry?”

Honesty is the best policy
(Photo by Skippyhaha)

She looked at her husband then back at me.  “I do have my mother’s ring, but its so precious to me, its all I have left of her memory.  I didn’t want to have to tell you about it.”

This type of hypothetical conversation happens frequently in my bankruptcy law practice.  I reminded her that everything she tells me is confidential.  And then I began to explain the basic bankruptcy bargain.  The bankruptcy bargain is the promise of huge debt relief in exchange for 100% complete honesty with the Court.  If you are not completely honest, and fail to disclose assets or income or property transfers, your bankruptcy should be dismissed.  You can even be charged with criminal conduct in extreme cases.  Beyond that, lying feels horrible and causes painful stress – it’s not worth it!

My office can help order tax transcripts, credit reports, or other documentation we’ll need to prepare your case.  What I look for in a potential client is the desire to come clean and start fresh.

We were able to file for Chapter 7 relief and protect her mother’s ring.  It had no effect on the administration of her bankruptcy case.  The ring was indeed part of her estate (things she owned), and we listed it on her petition.  We then protected it with the appropriate exemption, prohibiting the trustee from interfering with it.  If she had not told me about the ring, and the trustee found out about it somehow, the ring would likely have been sold for the benefit of her creditors.  In short, the only way her ring would have been at risk in bankruptcy was if she had failed to disclose it on her petition.

Bankruptcy can be a powerful financial tool which propels a recovery forward.  In exchange for the relief, you must be completely honest.  If this bargain sounds simple enough, and you want to figure out what type of relief you are entitled to, contact me for a free, initial bankruptcy consultation.

*The information contained on this website is not intended and does not constitute the providing of any legal advice or any legal opinions or services to any user thereof. The information available on or through this web page is not intended and shall not be used as a substitute for the advice and consultation provided by an attorney.  Any factual examples used to illustrate concepts are hypothetical and do not depict actual events or real persons.