When you file for bankruptcy in North Carolina, you will be required to disclose all of your assets and all of your debts. While it is not easy to think about losing a home or a car or a bank account, failing to disclose an asset to the bankruptcy trustee is not a good idea. In fact, doing so is considered bankruptcy fraud and is a felony crime.
According to Black’s Law Dictionary, when you file for bankruptcy, the trustee will conduct a thorough investigation into your finances. Therefore, the chances of whatever asset you are trying to hide being discovered are very high. If a particular asset is that important to you, you may want to try negotiating with your creditors before you file your bankruptcy petition.
Bankruptcy fraud is punishable by time in prison and fines in the realm of hundreds of thousands of dollars. If your bankruptcy has already been discharged, you can still be prosecuted for up to five years. In addition, any relief that was granted during the bankruptcy may be overturned. If no judgment has occurred, there is no statute of limitations as to how long they can come after you for hiding assets. A bankruptcy fraud conviction will not only give you a criminal record, but can affect your credit status as well.
Because of the high likelihood of being caught and the stiff penalties associated with bankruptcy fraud, attempting to exclude any of your assets from your bankruptcy is simply not worth it. This should not be construed as legal advice and is intended to provide general information on this topic only.