As a bankruptcy attorney in Mount Vernon, IL for over 20 years, I read through and analyze court rulings throughout the country, and pay particular attention to cases close to home!
I posted the Opinion in Gargula v. Brown (16-70699, Adv. # 16-7036) from the Central District of Illinois (the area includes Springfield, Peoria, Champaign, etc.) about whether a Debtor either forgot or intentionally left out savings bonds in her statement of assets.
Everyone forgets: the junk car in your back yard that still has a title and is still in the Secretary of State Database; your name is on your daughter’s bank account; the credit union savings account they made you open when they financed your car; the little bit of retirement you had from that job back in 2012; that hospital bill; the loan you co-signed with your grandson …
But honestly forgetting something in your bankruptcy schedules does not spell doom for you or your bankruptcy. If you and your attorney made an exhaustive effort to list all of your assets, income, expenses, debts, and so forth, in your bankruptcy schedules – and make swift efforts to correct the schedules – you should have no problem (you might have to turn in the car or the cash or incur more money to list the debt, but as far as being in “trouble” with the court, you should be fine).
When people do get into trouble, it is because they INTENTIONALLY hid an asset. They put money into someone else’s bank account, they transferred title to a vehicle to someone else, everything from funds to furniture seem to disappear overnight, etc.
In this case, the Debtor forgot that some of her tax refund money automatically goes to purchase savings bonds. Judge Gorman analyzed the demeanor of the Debtor and her actions upon the discovery of the missing asset (that is, quickly amending her schedules and handing the funds over to the Trustee). The intent, it was ruled, was not there.
This is why, it seems, some attorneys badger you about the information required in the bankruptcy schedules.
You will be asked about stocks and bonds and savings bonds.
Do you have any personal injury claims or worker’s compensation claims? Have you seen an attorney or talked to an attorney about any personal injury claims or worker’s compensation claims? Isn’t that the same question? Not really.
So let your attorney ask silly questions Let him or her repeat silly questions. It’s to help you remember – and don’t keep anything back! Your attorney should thank you for bringing up even the smallest matter – because it might make a difference!
About the blogger:
Michael Curry of Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois (http://michaelcurrylawoffice.com/) has helped thousands of individuals, family and small businesses in southern Illinois find protection under the Bankruptcy Code for almost twenty-five years. He is also available to help individuals and families with their estate planning (wills, power-of-attorney) and real estate and other sales transactions.
He is also the author of books on finance and bankruptcy available on Kindle through Amazon!
Whether you live in Mount Vernon, Salem, Centralia, or anywhere in Southern Illinois call Curry Law Office today at (618) 246-0993 and Finally Be Financially Free!
You can also access my website at http://www.mtvernonbankruptcylawyer.com