Posted by: RICHARD PROCTOR | April 5, 2011

ASSET CONCEALMENT IN BANKRUPTCY

According to the American Bankruptcy Institute, the number of U.S. consumers filing for bankruptcy in 2010 increased 9 percent over the previous year to more than 1.5 million. This increase is no surprise given the current economic decline. The difficult unemployment situation, housing slump, high levels of consumer debt, tightened access to consumer credit, and stagnant income growth have forced many once financially stable individuals into bankruptcy. With increased bankruptcy filings, we can expect to see an increase in bankruptcy fraud. Certainly many — perhaps most — people are honest throughout the bankruptcy process, but there are still those who capitalize on their own misfortune by perpetrating bankruptcy fraud. According to FBI statistics, concealment of assets and related false statements make up more than 70 percent of bankruptcy frauds. This scheme occurs when a debtor omits or undervalues his assets on his bankruptcy schedules, thus depriving creditors of their share of the assets.

http://www.acfe.com/newsletters/fraud-examiner.asp?copy=march11-asset-concealment

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