Did you know that the penalty for perjury in the bankruptcy court is jail time and huge fines?
Yes, it’s true. The penalty for making a false statement is a fine of up to $500,000 or imprisonment for up to 5 years, or both. (18 U.S.C. §§ 152 and 3571.)
That’s why I ask many many questions before filing to make sure my clients are listing all assets and all debts. That is why I do my own stalking of assets. It is painful, it takes forever, it can cause marital strife and hurt feelings. But it is absolutely necessary.
That is also why I am very careful when advising clients to make sure they understand that they are swearing an oath that the information contained in their schedules is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge when they sign. I go over each and every page of the petition with my clients before filing. I won’t file if I’m not 100% certain that the petition is accurate. I also update things that may change post-filing. I also talk to clients about how orange isn’t my color (e.g. I’m not going to jail for helping a client hide something).
This is serious. As your attorney, you must tell me everything, and let me decide how it affects your case. I can make many things that scare the daylights out of you a lot less scary. Am I’m not here to judge you or make you feel any worse than you already do.
I’m here to help.