By Santiago A. Cueto

international bankruptcy attorney, international bankruptcy, foreign property, international assets, international proper

I recently came across a situation where someone unwisely sought the advice of one of those late night television bankruptcy attorneys offering the deal of the century. You know the one.

Well, unfortunately certain foreign property holdings were not disclosed and the court came very close to denying the debtor’s bankruptcy petition.

In a very similar case, the court held the debtor in contempt for failing to disclose foreign real estate.

In both cases, the debts were ultimately discharged but the added stress and anxiety could have been avoided if the debtors were properly advised to list and disclose all foreign property holdings e.g., real estate, bank accounts, investments,  art collections, jewelry—everything. 

Failing to disclose all of your foreign holdings can result in the following:

  • Loss of your discharge
  • Loss of your right to claim any exemptions; and
  • Criminal prosecution

A U.S. bankruptcy Trustee is charged with marshaling a debtor’s assets wherever in the world they may be located for the benefit of the bankruptcy estate.

That 1957 Mercedes 300 SL Roadster in Punta del Este? You must disclose it.

That chalet in Chamonix? You must disclose it.

That Yacht in Antibes? You Must disclose it.

That art collection in Geneva? You must disclose it

That Louis XIV Armoire in Monaco? You must disclose it.

That bank account in Nevis?

You get the idea.

 The Bottom Line

Disclose all your international property holdings to your bankruptcy attorney.

You’ll be glad you did.