Committing Bankruptcy Fraud: Just Don’t Do It

Updated on 29 November 2023


No one gets away with lying on a bankruptcy schedule – not even celebrities. The proof: Teresa and Joe Giudice, stars of the Real Housewives of New Jersey, recently confessed in a federal court to committing bankruptcy fraud by neglecting to list income and assets.

Sources say the couple lied about Teresa’s income from the show, their combined income from personal appearances, and income from several businesses.

The Power of Bankruptcy

It’s a real shame because bankruptcy has the power to help so many people. When filed accurately, bankruptcy is able to discharge debts, stop foreclosure and help debtors make the leap from financial ruin to financial freedom. 

The Consequences of Lying

When you file for bankruptcy, you’ll be asked to fill out a packet of paperwork that includes all income, assets and debts. Then, you’ll sign your name under penalty of perjury – which means that, if you lie, it’s a crime.

And don’t think you won’t get caught. Bankruptcy trustees know how to do their homework, and they can spot red flags from a mile away. Even if you’ve already received a discharge, you can still get busted; the Giudices committed their fraud back in 2009 and, until recently, probably thought they had gotten away with it. Nope!

The Penalties of Fraud

So what happens if you commit bankruptcy fraud and get caught red-handed? You can kiss that debt discharge goodbye – even if your case has already been closed.

Additionally, you won’t be eligible for future bankruptcy discharges. And if you’re really unlucky, you could go to jail. That’s right, fraudsters can face imprisonment of up to five years.

The Importance of Honesty

So when you’re preparing your bankruptcy case, don’t transfer property to a friend or relative to shelter it. Don’t hide income sources. Don’t fail to disclose lawsuits. Just tell the truth. Look at our bankruptcy advice.

People who commit bankruptcy fraud typically do it because they’re scared. They’re worried they’ll lose their assets or property. But it’s important to remember that bankruptcy was created by the federal government to help, not hurt, those struggling with overwhelming debts. In most cases, folks who file for bankruptcy won’t have to give up their assets. And if they are at risk for some property loss, a good bankruptcy attorney can discuss options and identify a plan that minimizes that liability.

We should also clarify that penalties are for intentional fraud, not simple oversights. Bankruptcy isn’t the scary process many debtors make it out to be. If you come to your bankruptcy case with openness and honesty – and a great bankruptcy lawyer - you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Consulting with an Attorney

If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, it’s a good idea to discuss your financial situation and goals with a knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer before making your decision. Contact DebtStoppers today to arrange your complimentary one-on-one debt analysis with a DebtStoppers bankruptcy attorney.

At DebtStoppers, our experienced bankruptcy lawyers can help you determine whether bankruptcy is right for you and guide you through every step of the process. We understand that filing for bankruptcy can be a difficult decision, but we're here to support you and help you achieve a fresh financial start. Contact us today for your free debt analysis and take the first step toward a debt-free future.

Avoiding Bankruptcy Fraud: Tips for Staying on the Right Path

When filing for bankruptcy, it is crucial to be honest and accurate with the information provided in your paperwork. This will help you avoid bankruptcy fraud and the serious consequences that come with it. Here are some tips to ensure you stay on the right path:

Double-Check Your Information

Take the time to carefully review your financial records, income, assets, and debts when filling out your bankruptcy paperwork. Be thorough and make sure that the information you provide is accurate and complete.

Disclose All Assets

It is essential to disclose all of your assets, including property, bank accounts, investments, and any other valuable items. Attempting to hide assets can lead to bankruptcy fraud charges and the loss of your bankruptcy discharge.

Consult an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney

Working with an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you navigate the complex bankruptcy process and ensure that you are accurately disclosing all required information. Your attorney can also advise you on any exemptions that may apply to protect your assets from liquidation.

Be Honest About Your Financial Situation

Do not inflate your income or underestimate your expenses when filling out your bankruptcy paperwork. Be honest about your financial situation, as this will help your attorney and the bankruptcy trustee determine the best course of action for your case.

Understand the Bankruptcy Process

Educate yourself about the bankruptcy process and the requirements for filing. This can help you avoid making errors on your paperwork or accidentally committing bankruptcy fraud. Your attorney can provide you with resources and guidance to better understand the process.

Communicate Openly with Your Attorney

Keep the lines of communication open with your bankruptcy attorney. Discuss any concerns or questions you may have, and provide them with any updates on your financial situation as needed. This will help ensure that your case proceeds smoothly and without any surprises.


Filing for bankruptcy is a complex process that requires honesty and accuracy. Avoiding bankruptcy fraud is essential to achieving a successful outcome and a fresh financial start. By following these tips and working with an experienced bankruptcy attorney, you can navigate the bankruptcy process with confidence and achieve the financial relief you need. If you are considering bankruptcy, contact DebtStoppers to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our skilled bankruptcy attorneys.

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