Bankruptcy Social Media Concerns
Social media have had a profound effect on just about every aspect of life. Stuff published on social media has been used in court proceedings and investigations. Thus, it’s safe to assume that social media publications could affect bankruptcy proceedings.
Should you be careful about what you publish on Facebook and Instagram during a bankruptcy filing? Absolutely! There have already been several cases of people getting in trouble due to the information they disclosed publicly online.
Social Media Errors during Bankruptcy Filing
People doing a bankruptcy filing can commit an array of errors that will interfere with the successfulness of the petition.
Your bankruptcy trustee could look at your social media to find out if you’ve disclosed all of your property and assets, including those in the bankruptcy estate.
Attempting to conceal assets and property is a violation in Arizona and across the US. At best, it can get your bankruptcy filing turned down. At worst, you may be charged with bankruptcy fraud.
This happened to Melanie P. Mangum in 2012.
Mangum did not include a house that she owned in the bankruptcy estate. At the same time, she posted on Facebook about how much she loved spending time at her second home. needless to say, her bankruptcy trustee was soon in possession of that digital information.
Due to the information found on Facebook, the court ordered sanctions against Mangum. She was fined 2,500 dollars and she was also barred from doing another bankruptcy filing in the coming 10 years.
When presenting information about your assets and property, you need to be very careful and even meticulous. Go through all of your property and asset information with an Arizona bankruptcy attorney. An honest mistake isn’t going to have disastrous consequences. An attempt to conceal information, however, will definitely do (especially if you willingly share information about your estate online).
Click here for an article that explains how social media knows where your assets are buried.
Types of Social Media Posts That Can Raise Red Flags
While social media aren’t always going to be monitored, the bankruptcy court in Arizona could pay attention to digital profiles when wondering about the income or the assets of a person doing a bankruptcy filing.
Some of the social media publications that can be particularly troublesome during a bankruptcy filing include vacation photos, bragging about luxury purchases, showing presents you have acquired for loved ones, expensive dining out experiences and posts regarding employment or receiving a bonus/raise.
Unless this information is outlined in the bankruptcy documentation, it can contribute to court trouble.
These posts could make the court question your assets and whether you have hidden money that you have not disclosed and outlined in your bankruptcy estate.
Discussing the bankruptcy itself on social media is another very problematic thing to do.
This is not bankruptcy fraud but it affects the integrity of the case. Discussing issues you’re facing with creditors online is another very bad idea. Generally speaking, keep such troubles to yourself. These are not issues to discuss publicly with the world. Also, even if your profile has specific privacy settings in place, your publications could easily become public.
When doing a bankruptcy filing, you’re under scrutiny.
Every dollar, every asset and valuable will have to be accounted for. Your Facebook profile can be used to prove you’re dishonest and unreliable. Remember that even if you provide an honest asset disclosure, you are to engage in restricted spending before and during the bankruptcy filing. Showing the world you’re wasting a ton of money on things you don’t really need can raise suspicions of bankruptcy fraud and get you in serious legal trouble. Exercise some common sense and caution when posting online!