Do not lie your way through the bankruptcy process. If you get caught, you are in a messy situation.
Do not think that bankruptcy laws only exist to protect the debtor. They do, but they were also designed to protect the creditor. It is a two-way street and you need to remember that should you find yourself needing to declare bankruptcy. There is no doubt that it is a tough personal decision and the urge to lie to make things seem worse than they are might motivate some filers. Big mistake. Things like that always get discovered later.
Many people do not realize that bankruptcy is a legal proceeding, and as such it is under the wing of the U.S. Constitution and its bankruptcy laws. Those laws were written to protect creditors and debtors, and to allow an honest person or business a way to work out of a bad financial situation and to start all over again with no debts encumbering them. Why be honest when telling a little white lie might make you look better when you file? It’s called fraud, and it is illegal and subject to criminal prosecution. This is just what you do not need on top of your bankruptcy.
Some debtors lie because they are ashamed of the financial mess they find themselves in and feel people will think they are lazy or immoral. These days, declaring bankruptcy is something many people have been forced to do because of the poor economy. There is no shame in that. People can find themselves facing bankruptcy because of an unexpected divorce, a foreclosure, medical bills that are overwhelming, or health issues. In other words, life happens and part of life these days is the reality of bankruptcy as it is a tool to help you get out of a bad financial mess. It is just a fact of life and happily, there really is life after bankruptcy.
Keep in mind that you have two options when you have to or are forced to declare bankruptcy – Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. In its simplest form, Chapter 7 is the liquidation of your assets and is usually the fastest way to go bankrupt. In fact, Chapter 7 is typically called the no-asset route to bankruptcy largely because many Chapter 7 filers do not have any non-exempt property for a trustee to sell.
For Chapter 13, the wage earner’s plan, the debtor gets to create their own repayment plan based on their regular income. It usually is repaid over three to five years but no longer. There are some rules about state median incomes, and these need to be checked with a competent Iowa bankruptcy lawyer.