Any charges made on your credit card within 90 days of the filing of your bankruptcy are presumed to be fraudulent charges. In other words, the court will assume you deliberately charged up your cards and intended not to repay your creditors. The burden of proof will be on you to prove that you did not commit fraud. Any charges made more than 90 days of the filing of your bankruptcy are presumed to be charges that are not fraudulent. The burden of proof will be on the creditor to prove that you committed fraud. If at all possible, you should wait to file your bankruptcy until after the 90 days runs.
What happens if the Court makes a finding of fraud? If the court finds that you committed bankruptcy fraud, it can do one of several things: First, it can order you to repay the money to that particular creditor. Second, it can dismiss your bankruptcy case because you filed the bankruptcy petition in bad faith. Third, the government can file criminal charges against you.
In deciding what remedy, if any, to pursue, the court will look at the amount of the charges and
your motives. If you bought a tank of gas on your credit card shortly before you filed bankruptcy or paid for your treatment at the emergency room, a court will probably find that you did not commit fraud. If you bought a plasma tv the day before you filed bankruptcy, the court will probably find that you committed fraud and will probably make you repay the creditor for the tv. And then there was former major league baseball player Len Dykstra. A court found that Mr.
Dykstra sold his world series memorabilia for tens of thousands of dollars so that his creditors would not get the proceeds from those items. Mr. Dykstra was recently sentenced to federal prison.
If you are contemplating filing bankruptcy, call an experienced Fort Myers Bankruptcy Attorney at (239) 206-1948 for a free initial consultation.