Honesty? Is Honesty Honestly The Best Policy In Bankruptcy?

22 Jan Honesty? Is Honesty Honestly The Best Policy In Bankruptcy?

As my colbankruptcy questionsleague, Rachel Foley, often says:  “Riddle me this….”  Is honesty the best policy?   Honestly, yes!  There have been a number of posts on Bankruptcy Law Network about the perils of lying to your attorney, the court, the trustee and the consequences for dishonesty (Folks, it’s a crime to lie on your bankruptcy papers!).   However, that honesty is needed at the very beginning, when you are first talking to your potential bankruptcy attorney.

The attorney is going to base his or her recommendations to you on the information provided by you.   Recently, I gave a recommendation for a plan to resolve debts to an individual.   After the individual turned in the documentation required by the bankruptcy court (the documentation for me to prepare bankruptcy schedules and documents), I found that nearly everything I had been told during the consultation was not accurate.   The client didn’t “think” it was a lie; but the outcome was that I based my recommendation on false information.   With the documentation, my recommendation changed dramatically.  The documentation showed me that a bankruptcy may just be the worst possible solution to this person’s financial stress.    If honesty had been the best policy from the beginning, a better solution would have been presented months ago.    The stress of being completely honest would been followed with a roadmap presented to the individual of how to best resolve the financial stress.  Instead, we walked down one road only to find ourselves needing to be on a different path.

Be honest with your legal advocate; it’s not only the best policy, it is the ONLY policy allowed in bankruptcy court.

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I'm a consumer protection lawyer in Oregon, working with people in Klamath; Lake; Jackson; Josephine; Curry; and Deschutes County. I speak regularly on bankruptcy and consumer protection issues nationwide.
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