An asset search for any bankruptcy estate property hidden during a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, usually begins with an investigation of the debtor’s court filings.  For example, the following court filings may contain red flags that a debtor has concealed assets / property:

  • the petition;
  • schedules;
  • statement of financial affairs;
  • tax returns.

Critical to an asset search for concealed bankruptcy estate property, is the creditors’ meeting required by 11 U.S.C. §341.  This is true because the creditors’ meeting may be used by the Chapter 7 Trustee to examine the debtor about financial issues.  At such a meeting, creditors are also permitted to similarly question a bankruptcy debtor.  Among other things, an asset search for concealed bankruptcy estate property may also include the research described at “A Low-Cost Asset Search“.

A debtor caught concealing bankruptcy estate property could face bankruptcy fraud charges like those filed against  Michael Wamsley and Charles Wamsley, Jr. of Hendricks in Tucker County, West Virginia.  According to InterMountain.Com, the Wamsleys were charged with bankruptcy fraud and / or  making false statements.  As more fully described by their indictment , the Wamsleys allegedly concealed real property and farm equipment during bankruptcy proceedings.  According to the Court’s docket, the Wamsleys were scheduled for their initial court appearance and arraignment on September 10, 2008, in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

Copyright 2008-2011 Fred L. Abrams