Why do Bankruptcy Attorneys ask so many questions? Two words: due diligence. All attorneys have a duty under the Florida Bar to be candid with the court when making disclosures and presenting a client’s case, but Bankruptcy Attorneys have an even higher burden.
This means as Bankruptcy Attorneys, we are responsible for helping you in the bankruptcy process, but also ensuring that the bankruptcy schedules are accurate and correct. Bankruptcy is about disclosure. A debtor provides the required information and cooperates in exchange for a discharge of the debtor’s debts. Failure to make the disclosures or do the work necessary to get the information together can result in dire consequences for the client/debtor and for the attorney.
Bankruptcy Code section 11 U.S.C. 526(a)(2) requires Bankruptcy Attorneys as a debt relief agency to certify the bankruptcy paperwork by the client. By signing the bankruptcy paperwork, the Bankruptcy Attorney is certifying that he or she has done a reasonable investigation into the numbers and information in the bankruptcy schedules.
If a reasonable inquiry is not done by the debtor’s Bankruptcy Attorneys, then the attorneys themselves can be sanctioned by the court and have to pay back fees paid or pay civil penalties for misleading information or omission from the required disclosures.
This doesn’t mean amendments to the petition and schedules are not common place, it just means that the process needs to be taken seriously and the questions that Bankruptcy Attorneys ask are important! It may seems like we are being nosy, but we are really trying to protect you, give you good advice, and protect ourselves.
Call us today for your free consultation (305) 278-0811, but be prepared for some questions!