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After many failed bankruptcy attempts, woman jailed for fraud

After filing for bankruptcy six times in a four-year span, a woman has been sentenced to federal prison for just over a year after she pleaded guilty to providing false statements in her bankruptcy attempts. Apparently all of her bankruptcy attempts were Chapter 13 filings, and all were dismissed as a result of missing information or documentation.

She got into trouble because of a major effort to deter and catch people attempting bankruptcy fraud. The woman has nearly $190,000 in mortgage debt and nearly $75,000 in unsecured debts. 

Even though this story didn't happen here in Arkansas, it did occur in nearby Northern Texas. And regardless of location, it serves as a reminder about a couple of things with bankruptcy filings.

The first is that sending in multiple bankruptcy filings is not only a questionable act, it's also very difficult to have multiple bankruptcies accepted in a short period of time. It requires extreme circumstances to be able to file multiple Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings within a few years of each other. Before you decide to file for bankruptcy, talk things over with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

The other reminder offered up by this story is that you should never go into a bankruptcy filing thinking that you could get away with shortcuts. The idea that you could manipulate the system or get away with fraudulent activity through a bankruptcy filing will get you in trouble, as the aforementioned woman found out. When you file, you need to be organized and prepared.

Source: Dallas Morning News, "Dallas woman who filed for bankruptcy six times in four years given federal prison time," Kevin Krause, July 18, 2014

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