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Even the "rich and famous" can violate bankruptcy laws

You may have seen them on television: the "Real Housewives" of New Jersey, who engaged in a variety of sometimes seemingly outrageous attention-getting behaviors to boost viewership ratings. But sometimes what is made-for-TV acting out and acts that can have real legal consequences can blur together, as the recent release from prison of one of the cast of the above-named program attests to.

Teresa Giudice was sent to federal prison since the beginning of 2015 after having been convicted of bankruptcy fraud, specifically activities in 2014 that included using falsified loan applications to obtain millions of dollars in construction loans and mortgages as well as hiding assets from bankruptcy creditors. Her husband, who was also a participant in these activities, will begin serving his sentence of more than three years in prison at the federal prison in Fort Dix, New Jersey in March of next year (one reason why his sentence is longer than his wife's may be because he was also convicted of federal tax evasion).

Federal bankruptcy law is intended to provide protections to both debtors and creditors and to establish an orderly and uniform system of resolving creditor claims, including those connected with tax delinquencies home mortgages and other loans. Having the right legal counsel -- specifically, an attorney we not only thoroughly knows the law but who also has extensive experience with helping clients to navigate the bankruptcy process from choosing which from of bankruptcy to use through the petition and ultimately to final discharge of debts -- is a key consideration to ensure that both federal and New Jersey laws are complied with so that the debtor's "fresh start" does not begin with a stint in jail.

Source: NBC New York, "Real Housewives of New Jersey' Star Teresa Giudice to Be Released From Prison Before Christmas," Dec. 20, 2015

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