January 26, 2020

Examples of Bankruptcy Fraud

bankruptcy fraudLast October, I wrote a post on this blog about bankruptcy fraud, and pointed out that everything included in a bankruptcy filing is subject to scrutiny by the office of the United States Trustee, which is an arm of the United States Department of Justice.  In other words, false statements on a bankruptcy petition could land a debtor in hot water – dismissal of the bankruptcy case, fines and even prison.

Because the bankruptcy process can seem informal, it can be easy to forget that a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 filing is made up of documents filed in a federal district court and subject to investigation by the F.B.I.

Attorney Gini Nelson, a New Mexico bankruptcy lawyer, recently published a post about bankruptcy fraud in the Bankruptcy Law Network blog.  Gini’s post includes a link to the IRS.gov site containing examples of bankruptcy fraud investigations.   I found the IRS.gov link especially interesting in that one can get a sense of the type of fraud that bankruptcy debtors have attempted and the level of fraudulent activity that generated prosecution.  Given the highly interconnected and electronic public record access that is available to bankruptcy trustees as well as government investigators I can’t believe any of these folks believed that they would not be caught.

About Jonathan

Jonathan Ginsberg represents honest, hardworking men and women in the Atlanta area who need personal bankruptcy protection. In practice for over 25 years, Jonathan teaches bankruptcy law and practice at legal continuing education seminars and he is a founding member of the Bankruptcy Law Network. Jonathan lives with his wife and children in Atlanta.


  1. What if you are married and your wife has nothing to do with any of the debt what should I do because I don’t want to mess up her credit she has been discharge from a ch13.
    We also file single on our taxes how will that affect us if we don’t say nothing about the about being Marie’s and file a ch7 with just me omit.

  2. Rick, you can file an individual Chapter 7 but the paperwork you file must accurately disclose all information about your household income and expenses. You cannot leave out information required by the schedules. Most consumer bankruptcy lawyers offer a free or low cost consultation for new clients – I would contact a lawyer in your area for some guidance as to your various options.

  3. My wife filed chapt. 7 then filed for divorce without me knowing as I was out of the country. She intentionally left out our property we own in Costa Rica on her bk and it has been dismissed. However she is trying to get half the value now in the divorce..I’d that fraud?

  4. That is a reasonable conclusion – have you discussed with your divorce lawyer?

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