Timothy J. Sierra, Attorney at Law Trusted Florida Bankruptcy Attorney Since 1987
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Disclosing assets in bankruptcy is one of the most important aspects in a bankruptcy case. Failing to do so is a sure fire way to losing the debt relief given in bankruptcy.  Most debtors do not understand this basic but fundamentally important concept. When a person files for bankruptcy, they create a bankruptcy estate and all of their assets, tangible, intangible, contingent, choses in action and contract rights all belong to the bankruptcy estate. A debtor must list of these assets on their bankruptcy forms or schedules.

Most cases in which the debtor fails to list an asset is unintentional. However, there are situations in which a debtor intentionally omits an asset in order to protect it. This debtor thinks that if the trustee is not aware of it, the trustee cannot administer it and therefore the debtor will be able to keep it. There are several things wrong with this thinking. One, a debtor signs a bankruptcy petition under penalty of perjury. Second, the debtor will be asked at the meeting of creditors under oath whether they have listed all of their assets. Third, if the asset is discovered, the trustee or the United States Trustee could request the bankruptcy court to deny the debtor a discharge for failing to disclose assets under 11 USC ยง727 (a)(2). Fourth, a debtor could be charged with a federal criminal code violation for bankruptcy fraud. Debtors who try to conceal assets often end up in prison without their discharge and having lost their assets to the creditors.

The most recent celebrity in the news for bankruptcy fraud was former baseball player Len Dykstra. In July, 2012, he pled guilty to bankruptcy fraud by admitting he defrauded his creditors by declaring bankruptcy in 2009 then stealing or destroying furnishings, baseball memorabilia and other property from his mansion.

There is an additional consequence to not listing an asset. The failure to list an asset may result in that asset remaining in the bankruptcy estate. When a debtor lists an asset, the debtor will normally attempt to protect the asset from administration by using an exemption or immunity as determined by Florida law and non bankruptcy federal law. If the exemption is allowed, the asset then reverts back to the debtor. If an asset is never listed, it cannot be exempted or abandoned, and will remain a part of the debtor's bankruptcy estate.

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  • "When I first came to the decision to file for bankruptcy, I had no idea where to start. I began researching attorneys on the internet and came across the information for Tim Sierra. Since he specialized in bankruptcy and had a lot of experience......"
  • The process of going through bankruptcy could be very overwhelming but Tim made me feel at ease and I felt that my needs were being taken care of. I truly feel that he had my best interests in mind and the lines of communication were always open....
  • "I had to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. I didn't know anyone who could refer someone so I took a chance and just looked on the Internet. I don't remember exactly why I chose Mr. Sierra, but I am glad I did..."
  • He was honest, straightforward, and hard-working. In my case I ended up with some extenuating circumstances and he handled the matter professionally even though I'm sure the work probably exceeded what he originally felt it would be....
  • I don't ever write reviews, and I had no prior relationship with Mr. Sierra. This review is simply being written as a service to others that Mr. Sierra is an excellent attorney and should be considered for your needs if you need one....
  • "I'm very happy to have been referred to Tim for my Chapter 7 filing. He was knowledgeable in his field and very responsive in replying to any questions or concerns I had. Tim was also very accommodating with meeting times..."
  • " I recently was in need of Mr. Sierra's services and I found him to be very understanding and helpful in my particular circumstance. He met with me and explained everything in full detail and also answered every question that I had....."
  • " I recommend Timothy Sierra a loyal and dependable lawyer. When you talk to him you feel that you are with a friend or a member of your family. Timothy is able to lead you in every step of the process. Good job Timothy."
  • " Bankruptcy is a private and personally devastating life event. Timothy Sierra and his assistant, Nancy, made the process as painless as possible. They kept in close contact via phone and email so I always knew what was happening in my case...."
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Riverview, FL 33578

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305 North Parsons Avenue
Brandon, FL 33510

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Toll Free: 877-492-7449
Phone: 813-463-2256
Phone: 813-463-2256
Fax: 813-258-4746
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