A Typical Example of an INSIDER DEBT in Bankruptcy

— by Victoria Ring, Colorado Bankruptcy Training

I worked on a bankruptcy petition this week that involved a couple who had worked at the same job for 25 years.  They owned no real property and no unexempt personal property.  Their credit card debts totaled only $33,000 and they owned 2 older cars with very low market values.

What would be your first question when faced with a bankruptcy petition like this?

Your first question should be:  Why are these people filing bankruptcy? There has been no change in their income; they own very little and owe very little debt.  Something is missing from the puzzle and before I could go any further I had to find out what it was.

I immediately contacted the attorney by email as well as a voice mail (never totally rely on email) about the problem.  He called the debtors and found out that one of the reasons for the additional expenses was that their son graduated from college and they were paying back his student loans.

This is a typical example of an INSIDER DEBT in bankruptcy!  Learn how to recognize these and you will help to prevent fraud.

Although the debtors I prepared the petition for were probably honest people, many people could say that they are making the student loan debt for their son, when in actuality the son is making the payment and the debtor’s are pocketing the extra cash.  Creditors look for loop holes like this and this is a typical example of why bankruptcy cases are held up in court for many months.

Think about this: Typically, it is the son’s responsibility to pay the student loan debt.  Even if the debtors produce proof of payment that they actually paid the student loan payment, it would be impossible to prove that the son did not give them the cash to reimburse the payment they made.  This would give the debtors extra money each month to spend that the creditors would prefer to have.

Keep learning, take care and have a wonderful week!

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