Virginia Federal Bankruptcy Fraud Lawyer
Filing for bankruptcy can be difficult. Understanding which assets must be disclosed and which are protected can be complicated. If you are accused of deceptive practices in filing for bankruptcy, you may face serious federal charges. A Virginia federal bankruptcy fraud lawyer can be your ally in fighting criminal charges. Call and schedule a consultation with a VA federal fraud lawyer today to discuss your case.
About Federal Bankruptcy Fraud Charges
Financial difficulties and business reorganization may necessitate bankruptcy as a solution to debt struggles. The federal government creates several types of bankruptcy programs to help individuals and corporations dissolve, reorganize, and repay debt without losing all of one’s assets.
However, the laws regarding bankruptcy are complex in an attempt to protect not only the debtor from harassment and unethical debt collection practices, but also to protect the creditors’ ability to collect the debts owed to them.
When a person or organization is accused of deceptive practices in bankruptcy filings, federal bankruptcy fraud charges may result.
How Can a Federal Bankruptcy Lawyer in Virginia Help You?
There are a number of ways a Virginia bankruptcy fraud attorney can help a person accused of fraud to fight against the charges. Sometimes, what prosecutors call an act of fraud is really a simple mistake. Our lawyers can evaluate the details of your case in order to help you prepare a strong defense.
An experienced attorney can help you understand the charge and any possible consequences you may face, and he or she can prepare you for court appearances. With skillful guidance and counsel from your attorney, you can successfully navigate the federal court process.
Definition of Bankruptcy Fraud
In its most general terms, bankruptcy fraud is any misrepresentation, intentional deception, or concealment in connection with a bankruptcy petition.
There are several ways in which bankruptcy fraud may be committed:
- Concealing assets
- Multiple filings
- “Debt rescue” or “foreclosure relief” scams
The most common type of bankruptcy fraud occurs when a person conceals assets in an attempt to retain possession of those assets, rather than have them liquidated to repay creditors.
Debt rescue and foreclosure relief schemes occur when an organization misleads a debtor, promising debt relief in exchange for a fee, without actually providing any measure of relief or filing the appropriate forms.
In some cases, an individual petitioner or an organization working as a “petition mill” will submit multiple bankruptcy filings in different states in an attempt to delay creditors.
Federal Bankruptcy Fraud Laws
Federal law deals with bankruptcy fraud beginning in 18 U.S. Code § 151 and continuing through § 158.
In 18 U.S. Code § 152, federal law prohibits the concealment of assets or property, making false claims or oaths in connection with a bankruptcy filing, and bribing an official in connections with bankruptcy. These acts are punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison.
Federal law in 18 U.S. Code § 157 specifically prohibits bankruptcy fraud as filing a bankruptcy petition with intent to defraud or to make false representations, claims, or promises in connection with a bankruptcy petition. Like violation of § 152, it is punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years.
Bankruptcy fraud is a felony, and felony conviction brings collateral consequences that can have an impact on one’s life long after the sentence is served.
Work with an Experienced Virginia Federal Bankruptcy Fraud Lawyer
If you are accused of misrepresentation in connection with a bankruptcy filing or petition, act quickly to secure legal representation. Call today to speak with a Virginia federal bankruptcy fraud lawyer about your case.