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Don’t Let Social Media Ruin Your Bankruptcy Case!

by | Apr 16, 2024 | Bankruptcy Basics, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook and TikTok continue to grow in popularity. These sites have impacted many aspects of society, including the practice of bankruptcy law. While social media sites give people a chance to connect with friends and family, many people share a lot of personal information online. This blog will discuss the impact social media could have on your bankruptcy case.

Your Posts on Social Media are Not Private

 Social media platforms are public. You must assume that everybody with an interest in your bankruptcy case, including the bankruptcy trustee, will look at your social media activity to determine if you have been honest.

Full Disclosure is Required on Your Bankruptcy Petition

When you file for bankruptcy, you are required to truthfully list all of your income, assets and debts. You must be honest and fill out the petition fully and completely. If the information on the petition is false or incomplete, there could be serious consequences including the dismissal of your petition or your inability to discharge (eliminate) your debts in bankruptcy. There can also be even greater problems if the court determines that you lied in your petition or failed to fully disclose information.

Ways Social Media Can Effect Your Bankruptcy

In the age of social media, your creditors and bankruptcy trustee may look at your social media sites to determine if there are pictures of assets that you failed to report or evidence of income, such as from a second job that you did not disclose. Therefore, be certain to be very thorough and provide your bankruptcy attorney with accurate and complete information and be careful what you post.

If you file bankruptcy, the purchases that you make within three months of filing the petition come under especially heavy scrutiny. Although credit card debt is typically dischargeable, an important exception to this rule is luxury goods and services purchased within 90 days of the filing. If a creditor or trustee finds photos of you enjoying a vacation, expensive dinners, or shopping sprees during this time it can create difficulties with your bankruptcy, possibly resulting in a denial of discharge for some or all of your debt, meaning that you will have to pay it back.

Not being truthful about your income can also hurt your Chapter 13 case. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will be on a payment plan where, depending on the individual circumstances, you will repay some or all of your debts over time before you get a discharge of the balance of what you owe. Your payments are partly based on your income and you must report income changes during the bankruptcy to the bankruptcy trustee. If you share information online about a new job or a raise, but do not inform the trustee, you risk facing negative consequences.

Review Social Media Before Filing Bankruptcy

Be sure to review all social media sites to make certain that you have not forgotten to disclose any assets or other required information and be careful what you post on social media during your bankruptcy case.

Contact Levitt & Slafkes for a Free Bankruptcy Consultation

 An experienced bankruptcy attorney at Levitt & Slafkes, P.C. can ensure that your petition is complete and accurate and can work to secure the debt relief that you are seeking. Contact us at 973-323-2953 to schedule an appointment, or contact us online.