I have reason to believe that someone who has just filed for personal bankruptcy did not disclose all assets or claims to assets. This individual was the recipient of a large insurance policy proceeds subsequent to the bankruptcy. How do I report this matter and to whom should the notification go to?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Re: Hiding Assets
Trustees are appointed in all bankruptcy cases. They are either with the U.S. Trustee's Office, or private attorneys who are on a "panel" and are assigned to the case to serve as trustee. It is the trustee's responsibility to protect the creditors, and therefore to pursue leads about assets which may benefit the estate, and thus the creditors who have claims against the estate. The clerk's office at the bankruptcy court can give you the name and phone number of the trustee. Or you can find this information on line through a system called "PACER," although it is a little akward to use and you need an account. Bankruptcy courts are courts of "equity," and can deny a debtor a discharge on equitable grounds. In addiiton, the federal government is getting more aggressive in pursuing allegations of bankruptcy fraud, and they are very interested in cases in which someone intentionally fails to disclose or affirmatively hides assets.
Re: Hiding Assets
Bring proof and inform the Office of the US Trustee for the jurisdiction in which the person filed. You can get the name and address from the clerk of the BK court. The trustee is responsible for insuring the integrity of the judicial system. The Ch. 7 trustee, a private attorney appointed by the court to represent the creditors and look for assets, also will be interested for assets to pay off creditors. The trustee will inform him/her or you can also check with the court clerk.
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