prison

Many people do not understand the consequences of filing multiple bankruptcies.  It is very important to know that every bankruptcy filed (even if the process is not completed) will stay on the credit for ten years.

Filing bankruptcy will stay on your public record forever.

Also, once the bankruptcy is filed you cannot remove it from the public record if you decide not to go forward.

Bankruptcy will stop a foreclosure and perhaps an eviction (for a short time), but can land you in prison if you abuse the process.

Filing bankruptcy to stop a foreclosure is not a good reason unless you intend on completing the bankruptcy process.  CHARLISE WILLIAMS found out the hard way that filing several bankruptcy petitions (serial filings) to stop a foreclosure or avoid an eviction can result in a conviction for bankruptcy fraud.  Ms. Williams is now spending the next four years in a federal prison for this bankruptcy fraud.

What is the story about this bad faith bankruptcy?

Ms. Williams owned a condominium, did not pay the secured debts so the condominium association moved to evict her.  According to Circuit Judge Joel M. Flaum, the filings followed the same pattern:

Her scheme was generally as follows. After filing for bankruptcy, Williams would fail to make all required payments as required by her Chapter 13 payment plan. As a result, the bankruptcy court would dismiss the case. After the dismissal, SCCA would often file eviction and collection suits. Williams would then file a new Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition in order to stay the action. Again, Williams would fail to make most of the required plan payments, and the cycle would continue.

prisonMs. Williams filed five bankruptcies over a decade – all to try to stop the foreclosure/eviction process on her condo.  She even involved a friend in this fraud by transferring title to the friend, after which the friend filed for bankruptcy.  This did not work out well for the friend because he was also sued for bankruptcy fraud.  Eventually the friend admitted he committed perjury as part of filing his own bankruptcy, and, in exchange for avoiding a felony conviction, the friend testified against Ms. Williams about the scam.

How Can I help You?MUSINGS BY DIANE:

Bankruptcy is not a game.

Never go down this path without understanding the implications on your life (present and future).  Never lie on any legal document.  Never lie on the stand.  Never lie to your attorney or your mother (both are there to try to help you).