Most people that are filing bankruptcy usually have a large number of credit cards in addition to their other debts. In many cases, the interest from credit card debt is what pushed them over the edge into the bankruptcy filing. People that are addicted to using their credit cards usually have one favorite credit card that they try to keep a lower balance so they don’t lose the ability to charge on that account. All the other ones are maxed out and they’ve come to a point where they could no longer afford to live while making the minimum payments on these credit card balances. Many times, an individual will try and set aside and not list in the bankruptcy filing that special credit card that they never used or still has available credit on it. Although, in theory it all sounds good, but when the bankruptcy attorney tells their client to list all their debts, they mean all. The last thing a bankruptcy attorney wants is to be blindsided at the meeting of creditors by the bankruptcy trustee asking why this account was not disclosed. It’s embarrassing for the bankruptcy attorney and could have ramifications on how the bankruptcy filing proceeds from there.
Many people in the process of filing bankruptcy don’t realize that most creditors continuously search the bankruptcy filings than cross reference the names with their own database. When a name pops up the check for social security number and if it matches the account will be closed anyways. So someone that thinks they can be sneaky and hang on to one credit card while discharging all their other debt is foolish. Technology has made this virtually impossible for the debtor to get away with. Once you get caught failing to disclose debts on your bankruptcy petition, the bankruptcy trustee will take a much closer look at all the schedules including an individual’s assets and the bankruptcy exemptions that protect them. The bankruptcy attorney will be on the defense digging themselves out of a hole with a bankruptcy trustee.
The court wants individuals that are filing bankruptcy to be totally honest if they plan on receiving this discharge of debt. Once that trust is broken, the court will question everything else in the bankruptcy petition. It also breaks the trust of the bankruptcy attorney with their client. First of all, if the bankruptcy attorney learns about the hidden credit card at the 341 meeting, they won’t know what else their client is hiding from them. When that trust is broken, the bankruptcy attorney might even drop them as a client.
This is important for an individual filing for bankruptcy if they want to be successful. Include all the information and let the bankruptcy attorney decide whether or not it’s important or if there is a legal way around the situation. Many times there is a solution that the client would not even know about and would avoid the embarrassment of getting caught in a lie.