How does a bankruptcy trustee find hidden assets?

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Question:

How does a bankruptcy trustee find hidden assets?

Answer:

If you attempt to hide assets during a bankruptcy, rest assured that they will likely be found by the trustee, and you may even be in trouble for bankruptcy fraud. At the very least, your case will likely be dismissed so that you no longer have the option to file bankruptcy. Before you are tempted to hide assets, you should know that the trustee often uses online searches and background checks to cover all the bases.

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One of the most common ways that people try to hide assets is by transferring money, real estate, or other property to friends or family members. Any transfer that takes place as a bankruptcy approaches sends up a red flag for trustees, who usually perform a background check. This usually reveals aliases that the debtor may use, and may also reveal the names of family members. Therefore, know that transferring assets is not a wise idea during a bankruptcy. Most trustees also have access to large databases that offer plenty of information about individuals. This kind of website can show assets like real estate, cars, aircraft, land, and even bank accounts. This type of search may cost money, but if the trustee is confident that you are hiding several assets, it is usually considered worth it in order to ensure that you are paying your creditors as much as you can.

Be Upfront with Your Lawyer

If you do have more assets that you originally let on, you should talk to your lawyer. They will likely be found eventually, at which point you may be in trouble, but your lawyer should be able to help you fix the issue.

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