Filing for bankruptcy should be a transparent process. The person filing for bankruptcy should give an honest declaration of their incomes, expenses, and assets in exchange for having their debts discharged.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen.
A notable fraudulent activity committed by many debtors during the filling of their bankruptcy is the concealing of assets.
Concealing of assets refers to a situation where a debtor tries to hide some of their assets during a bankruptcy process. This is done so that these assets don’t end up being used to pay the debtor’s creditors. Once the bankruptcy period is over, the debtor gets their assets back. Thus, the person gets rid of their debt but still retains their assets.
Ways in which a debtor may try to conceal their assets during a bankruptcy filing process include:
· Transferring the assets to friends or family members
· Tying up assets in businesses or hidden companies
· Channeling assets to offshore accounts
· Some debtors pay more money to their creditors
· Buying of property or other expensive luxury items
· Creating fake mortgages, so the property looks like it has no value
· Buy assets such as bonds, insurance policies, annuities, or stocks
If you’re a creditor and you suspect that your debtor may be trying to conceal their assets, you can seek the help of a Melbourne private investigators agency to help prevent bankruptcy.
What Can a Private Investigators Agency Do to Prevent Bankruptcy?
The court expects a debtor filing for bankruptcy to be honest about their debts and the value of their assets. During the case, the court will employ an asset discovery process through which it will gather information on the debtor’s assets.
In addition to the information provided in court, creditors can also hire the services of a private investigator (PI) to locate hidden assets.
A private investigator will:
· Conduct a thorough investigation to locate hidden assets
· Prepare a report that they’ll present in court as evidence
· Give a testimony in court regarding the hidden assets
Why Should You Hire the Services of a PI Agency?
If you’re a creditor and you suspect foul play by your debtor during the filing of their bankruptcy case, you should consider seeking the services of a PI agency.
Such an agency will have access to databases and public records that can help them trace hidden assets. They also have the experience and the tools to conduct such an investigation, something you or your lawyer may not have.
A qualified PI will sift through the debtor’s tax reports, online records, payroll slips, bank records, reports from family and friends, debts, property filings, addresses, references, and other data to locate processes and locations that may be proof of hidden assets. The right private investigator will also know bankruptcy laws and what it takes to satisfy a court that the debtor has hidden assets.
The agency may also have PIs with military and law enforcement background making them the right people for the job.
What Happens If the Debtor is found To Have Concealed Property
If after the private investigator’s report and testimony the court is convinced that the debtor tried to conceal assets, lie about their income, or defraud the court, they may face the below consequences:
· The court will deny them a bankruptcy discharge which means they will still be obligated to pay you and other creditors
· The court will revoke an already granted discharge
· The debtor cannot discharge the debts in that case in any other subsequent bankruptcies
· The debtor may face criminal charges where the penalty may be a $250,000 fine or imprisonment of up to twenty years
If you suspect that a debtor who owes you money may be trying to defraud the bankruptcy process by concealing assets, you need to hire a Melbourne private investigators agency. A PI from the agency will review the case and reveal the truth. If they gather enough evidence to convince the court of the fraud, you might get your debt paid by the debtor.