When you are declared bankrupt, it’s in your best interests to be as open and honest as possible with the authorities in order to avoid finding yourself on the wrong side of the law. During bankruptcy, your financial behaviour will be investigated by the official receiver, with activity taking place before and after the order being made being assessed. Those found to have committed bankruptcy offences can face fines or even prison, and your bankruptcy can be extended for up to 15 years rather than the typical 12 months.
There are many kinds of bankruptcy fraud. Examples of bankruptcy offences can include selling or giving away property obtained on credit during the 12 months before the application was made, when the property hadn’t been paid for. If you lied or withheld information about property and finances, you may be guilty of bankruptcy fraud.
You may also find yourself in hot water if you hide any assets worth a minimum of £500 as these should be handed over to the trustee or official receiver. If you gave away or sold property fraudulently in the five years leading up to the order being made, you could also be in trouble. You will also need to tell any lender about your bankruptcy if you are attempting to borrow more than £500. Attempting to rebrand a business you were running when you were declared bankrupt without informing customers and clients about it can also lead to sizeable legal problems. You may also find yourself in trouble if you hold a position you are not permitted to hold such as company director, whilst you are bankrupt.
You can be sent to prison for up to seven years if you commit bankruptcy fraud, and could be made to comply with bankruptcy restrictions for up to 15 years. If you are planning on applying for bankruptcy but suspect you may have done something that would constitute bankruptcy fraud, you are advised to seek out legal advice at the earliest opportunity. You should also talk to a legal professional if you think you have committed bankruptcy fraud during the bankruptcy. You may have a valid defence if you can prove you weren’t intending to commit fraud or mislead the official receiver. The laws around bankruptcy and bankruptcy fraud can be incredibly complex, which is why it’s always best to avoid going it alone and seek out the high-quality, accurate advice you require as soon as possible.
At Irwin and Company, we have vast experience when it comes to providing bankruptcy advice and giving our clients the high-quality legal support they require. You can contact us at any point if you have any queries about the work we do. We always have our clients’ best interests at heart and pay close attention to your personal circumstances so we can continue to offer advice tailored directly to you. Don’t wait any longer to get in touch if you have a concern about bankruptcy or bankruptcy fraud – call 0800 009 3173 today.