How social media can complicate a bankruptcy filing

Pictures posted on social media have the potential to cause problems in a bankruptcy filing. A photo of a person with expensive property may imply that the individual owns that property, raising the question of whether that property was properly disclosed to the bankruptcy court in the filings requiring detailed inventory of assets.

This issue was discussed in a recent article in The Wall Street Journal. The story described scenarios where people going through bankruptcy posed with property that raised red flags with bankruptcy court personnel such as trustees and their staff.

For example, items like boats, jewelry and cash could suggest a certain level of wealth. However, people pose with things innocently that they do not actually own or that may be fake (imitation cash or costume jewelry) to be funny, in social situations with the actual property owners (such as on a yacht by invitation), or for business or commercial promotion.

As we have discussed on this blog, people who go through the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process are able to keep certain property exempt from liquidation. Part of this process is to disclose to the court in detail all of the debtor's assets: real estate, personal property, vehicles, investments, accounts, cash and more.

It is smart to work with an attorney when taking inventory of your property for bankruptcy purposes. It may be more difficult than it would seem to actually account for everything in which you have an interest and to assign a reasonable value to it. Legal counsel can assist in completing the necessary forms and taking stock of your assets.

It's also not a bad idea, as The Wall Street Journal describes, to think carefully about how you present yourself on social media.

In Albuquerque and throughout New Mexico, the law firm of Giddens & Gatton Law,amp; Jacobus has bankruptcy attorneys who offer expert handling of Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases and can specifically provide advice as to bankruptcy and its alternatives.

We represent many debtors and creditors in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Taos, Raton, Farmington, Gallup, Grants, Roswell, Los Lunas, Placitas, Belen and the rest of New Mexico. Contact Giddens & Gatton Law,amp; P.C., at (505) 273-3720 to set up an appointment or visit the firm's website at Giddens & Gatton Law,amp; P.C., is located at 10400 Academy Road N.E., Suite 350 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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