Why You Must List All Your Assets in Your Bankruptcy – Dance Moms Star Abby Lee Miller Indicted on Charges of Bankruptcy Fraud

“If I don’t list it, how will the court know about it?” This is a common question I receive when I tell prospective clients that they need to list all their assets in a bankruptcy. The answer I generally give is “I don’t know how the court will find out, but if you hide it and the court learns about it you risk five years in prison and $250,000 in fines. Is it worth it?”

Dance Moms star Abby Lee Miller will soon find out, having been indicted for bankruptcy fraud related offenses. According to the indictment, Ms. Miller “in knowing disregard of the Court’s Order . . . continued to conceal and attempted to conceal significant sums of business income”.

Abby Lee Miller is the latest in a string of celebrities and pseudo-celebrities to face the wrath of the bankruptcy court. Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $414,588 in restitution for failing to disclose income and list assets such as cars and recreational vehicles in their bankruptcy, among other charges. Further, her discharge was revoked so she still owes all the creditors that would have been handled in the bankruptcy and can likely never wipe those debts out in a future bankruptcy.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Michael Vick was accused of making fraudulent transfers to friends and family members prior to filing his chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2008. It should be noted that this issue was resolved and that Mr. Vick appears to  have successfully completed the bankruptcy process notwithstanding the early hurdles.

You should make every effort to be as thorough with your attorney as possible. Don’t fail to mention assets because you’re afraid you’ll lose them. Your attorney will discuss creative options to preserve your things and make that you don’t give up more than is absolutely necessary. If you fail to disclose, you’ll lose your discharge.

Bankruptcy, Retirement, and Estate Planning

Denver Bankruptcy Lawyer

When planning for retirement, you may be focused on saving up the money you’ll need to live comfortably after you’ve left the workforce. And when planning your will and trust, the primary focus is probably making sure that your loved ones are well taken care of by passing down as much of your property possible. Surprisingly, bankruptcy can help you achieve both of these goals.

Bank Account Garnished? Here’s What To Do Now

You’re checking out at the grocery store and the debit card is declined. That can’t be right, I just got paid yesterday, you think. You call your bank to find out what the problem is and they tell you that you’re overdrawn by $150 because a creditor has garnished your bank account.  Many people who face this type of situation think that the money is lost. However if you act quickly, you may be able to recover some or all of those funds.

Bankruptcy § 341 Meeting of Creditors Locations By County

While there is only one bankruptcy court for Colorado, which is located in Denver, where you live plays a big part in your case. Not only does it determine whether you’re eligible for a chapter 7 bankruptcy and dictate allowable expenses in a chapter 13 bankruptcy, but it also determines where your 341 Meeting of…

Bankruptcy Court FIling Fees Increasing

The Bankruptcy Court is increasing the fees for filing certain cases and documents on June 1st. Chapter 7 cases are increasing from $306 to $335, for example. For more information, see the original post at the Colorado Consumer Bankruptcy Association blog.

Bankruptcy 341 Meeting of Creditors – What will the Trustee Ask?

Attorney Charles E. Longtine posted a useful article on the Colorado Consumer Bankruptcy Association’s blog about commonly asked questions at the 341 Meeting of Creditors. The first few questions he lists are: Have you previously filed bankruptcy? If so when? Why are you filing bankruptcy? Did you review the bankruptcy petition? Is the information correct?…

Divorce, Debt, and Bankruptcy – Why Your Divorce Isn’t As Effective At Protecting You From Debt As You Think

Contrary to popular belief, the financial bonds formed during a marriage can’t be broken just by filing for divorce. Three common misconceptions about divorce and debt are set out and corrected below to help you learn how to avoid letting your ex pull you down long after you’ve gone your separate ways.

Does a Foreclosure or Short Sale Affect my Credit Score More?

You have several different options for dealing with a home that’s worth less than what you owe on it, two of which are foreclosure and a short sale. One common justification that realtors give for pushing a short sale is that it’s better on your credit score. However, according to research by the authors of…

Why you Shouldn’t Stop at Income in Determining Whether you Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Under the Means Test

Do I make too much money to qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy? In researching about filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may have learned that you have to qualify under the bankruptcy means test. Additionally, you may have learned that the chapter 7 means test uses your income as a factor. You might have found…

The Bank is Foreclosing on my Home – What are my Rights in Colorado?

Once the foreclosure process has begun, the likelihood of successfully negotiating with your mortgage lender for a voluntary foreclosure alternative, such as a loan modification or short sale, is small.  As such, this post focuses on your rights in Colorado– the options you have which the lender must comply with. For more information on alternatives,…