Can A Previous Criminal Conviction Stop Me From Declaring Bankruptcy?

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We know that bankruptcy can limit some factors of your life, like securing certain financial jobs, working with classified government information, and making it more difficult to secure loans. It is also common knowledge that a previous criminal conviction can inhibit factors in your day-to-day life. But, can a previous criminal conviction stop you from declaring bankruptcy? The Jones Law Firm explains.

Criminal Convictions and Bankruptcy

First, a criminal conviction won’t necessarily stop you from declaring bankruptcy--depending on the crime committed. However, it may limit the types of exemptions you can claim. Consider this: A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is essentially a liquidation of debts. This means that some of the assets you own will be sold and used to pay back debts before the remainder of the debts will be discharged. But, if you’ve been convicted of bankruptcy fraud, embezzlement, or another serious financial-type crime, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court will require that you use your homestead exemption while other exemptions will be limited. Typically though, a felony conviction will be the only crime that limits your bankruptcy options--but even then, the crime must have been financial in nature.

Bankruptcy Fraud

A financial crime not related to bankruptcy can complicate the bankruptcy process. However, bankruptcy fraud can be detrimental to your application. The most common acts committed in bankruptcy fraud involve the concealment of assets. This may include transferring funds or property to friends, relatives, or business associates so they cannot be found. While this can be an accident--like giving assets or finances to a family member before the allotted time frame of filing for bankruptcy, if done purposefully, it can have serious consequences. If you knowingly and intentionally commit bankruptcy fraud, you can receive up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both. In some cases, the intent to commit fraud is enough to receive punishment. Whether intended or not, one wrong move can damage your ability to gain a financial fresh start. But The Jones Law Firm can help.

Criminal Conviction and Bankruptcy: The Jones Law Firm

Filing for bankruptcy is complicated, but when you have a previous criminal conviction, you may worry that the process will be impossible. Luckily, the Columbus, Ohio bankruptcy attorney, Michael Ryan Jones, can help you through the process. With offices in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, The Jones Law Firm works with clients in and around Columbus and throughout central Ohio. Contact The Jones Law Firm today to speak about your specific situation and how we can help you.
Categories: General Bankruptcy