Tampa, FL asked in Bankruptcy for Alabama

Q: I did not read my bankruptcy petition before I signed it the lawyer made several errors

Like putting my wifes debts on the petition . And did not including 2 large withdrawals 8000 and 3000 that my wife took out of our joint account to buy a vehicle

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4 Lawyer Answers
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Boyertown, PA

A: NEVER sign a document before you read through it.

It's surprising that a bankruptcy lawyer would enable you to sign without first reading the documents. One of the questions normally asked by any bankruptcy trustee at the 341 meeting is whether the signature on the Petition is genuinely yours, and whether you've read the Petition and Schedules before signing.

Filed documents can be corrected by filing amended documents, and you should not delay in doing that, with your lawyers assistance.

Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison
Answered
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Louisville, KY

A: You can make corrections by simply amending your petition.

Lloyd M. Nolan
Lloyd M. Nolan
PREMIUM
Answered

A: I have noticed that any time there is an issue it is the lawyer's fault. While that may be true, your answers and statements in your bankruptcy petition, schedules and statements are made under penalty of perjury and you are ultimately responsible. The government prosecutes bankruptcy crimes, which includes false statements. You can face fines, imprisonment, or both, if these errors are not corrected. Bankruptcy is a very serious undertaking and you cannot just willy nilly sign whatever is placed before you because it "takes too much time to read" or "is just a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo." If you have not already done so, you need to contact your lawyer and make the appropriate amendments IMMEDIATELY. I am hopeful that you have not already had your Section 341 hearing.

Christopher Crull
Christopher Crull
Answered
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Cuyahoga Falls, OH

A: It is very important to read the petition before signing. This helps to ensure that there are no errors or omissions in the forms. For that reason it is always important to read and understand the forms. It is the responsibility of both the attorney AND the client to make sure this happens.

That being said, there may be reason to list the debts of a non-filing spouse, such as if you are a cosigner on the debt.

As the other respondents here have said, the petition forms can be amended to correct errors after the fact. That should be done ASAP.

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