teresa-giudice-prison-lies-daughtersDon’t commit perjury in your bankruptcy case or you, too, could get a nice orange jumpsuit. True, orange is the new black and black goes with anything, so there’s that upside. Plus, you get free food thrice a day and a roof over your head when it rains, so maybe it’s not all that bad. The point is, don’t lie. You can face penalties that include time in the slammer. You could, of course, in an attempt to deflect true blame, sue your lawyer afterwards. The problem is: the lawyer doesn’t sign under penalty of perjury, debtors do. A lawyer does have legal responsibility, of course; and he/she should. But the lawyer’s duty does not extend to making sure what is in the petition is factually correct. Consider if all bankruptcy attorneys had to independently verify the list of assets in Schedule B, for instance. How would this be done? A walkthrough of the debtor’s home? Why wouldn’t the debtor simply hide the diamonds behind the tarragon in the spice rack until the lawyer left? Or park the Lamborghini down the road for a bit? The fact is, a lawyer cannot, and should not, have to independently verify anything. This is why the forms say — correctly — that the obligation is the debtor’s. A lawyer performs legal work. Legal work is not creating a list of assets. So, be smart: no bankruptcy is worth going to jail for.

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