Many people who live in the United States have foreign assets. That’s especially true with those who immigrated here. Those assets raise special questions in the context of bankruptcy law. The most common question is whether those foreign assets are required to be disclosed to the bankruptcy court.

You must make the disclosure

The answer to the questions about a disclosure requirement for foreign assets is in the affirmative, even if those assets might be exempt. You must fully disclose those assets. Those would include homes, bank accounts, vehicles and any other assets not on American soil. The bankruptcy court has many different ways of discovering assets in another country. Those might involve tax returns, bank records, official foreign documents or even a spiteful ex-spouse who might advise the court of your foreign assets.

Failure to disclose foreign assets

If you’re filing for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you’ve already signed off on your petition, and you swore that the information contained in it is true and correct. If you fail to disclose foreign assets to your attorney or the court, your bankruptcy petition can be dismissed, and you could face criminal prosecution for committing perjury. If convicted, you’re looking at up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. An honest petitioner can be discharged with a fresh start. A dishonest petitioner can get dismissed out and sent to prison. It’s that simple.

Will the foreign asset be pursued by the bankruptcy court?

A bankruptcy trustee might or might not pursue a foreign asset. Much depends on the value of the asset. The trustee will consider its value, its liquidity and whether it’s economically viable to pursue the asset. It might not make good economic sense for the trustee to get involved with it.

Contact a Los Angeles Bankruptcy Lawyer Today

If you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy, it’s important that you tell us everything. We’ll then explain to you how all matters should be handled. We are Los Angeles Bankruptcy Lawyers and we have extensive experience helping people protect their foreign assets. You can contact us by phone or email for a free consultation. We’ll work with you and help you find peace from that suffocating debt.

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