The debtor, typically an individual, files numerous cases to take advantage of the automatic stay to prevent eviction, foreclosure and collection on other debts. The petitions usually contain false social security numbers, variations of the debtor’s name or fictitious names. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases are filed interchangeable.
Red Flags/Common Characteristics
· Debtor has filed a high number of cases in a short period of time
· Debtor does not disclose prior bankruptcy cases
· Debtor uses different counsel to file each case
· Chapter 13 cases never completed because of failure to fund-plan
· Debtor had been prohibited from filing a case pursuant to 11 U.S.C. Section 109(g)
Civil Responses To Consider
· Objection to discharge
· Motion pursuant to 11 U.S.C. Section 707(a) and 349 to dismiss for bad faith and to deny debtor’s discharge
Criminal Responses To Consider
Bankruptcy Fraud, 18 U.S.C. Section 152: Concealment of assets and false oaths and statements in bankruptcy petition, schedules and statement of financial affairs.
Bankruptcy Fraud, 18 U.S.C. Section 157: Movement or concealment of assets Pre-petition and post-petition. False statements or oaths.
Use of False Social Security Number, 42 U.S.C. Section 408: If used to obtain creditor in bankruptcy filing.
Next: Bankruptcy Fraud Warning Signs