Depressed Debtor Denied Bankruptcy For Destroying Records

04 Mar Depressed Debtor Denied Bankruptcy For Destroying Records

So who doesn’t get depressed when filing for bankruptcy protections? Still, you need to be careful about holding onto your records.

In Lassman v. Keefe (In re Keefe), 380 B.R. 116 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2008), a builder incorporated his business. He became depressed when he ran into difficult times and put all his records in a plastic bin. He received physical threats from his customers, and his depression made him ill just by looking a the bin containing his records. Finally, he tossed the bin into the trash.

The judge ruled that there was no malicious intent and that the destruction was benign. However, the act was not justified and destroyed the trustee’s ability to determine what money was owed the corporation and the accuracy of any claims. His bankruptcy discharge was denied.

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L. Jed Berliner practices exclusively in consumer bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, and related consumer protection litigation such as credit card defenses and suing debt collectors. He established his Springfield, MA practice in 1988. Attorney Berliner is a regular and active contributor to the Bankruptcy Law Network, the Bankruptcy Roundtable, and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, three specialized consumer bankruptcy forums on the Internet, and is an informal mentor to regional practitioners. He is recognized by his peers as an expert in consumer bankruptcy issues. He thoroughly enjoys being rated "excellent" in his client surveys.

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