How can posting on social media affect my bankruptcy?

If you are like most people these days, social media has become an integral part of your life. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are there to document everything from your major life milestones to the minutiae of your daily life.

You may not realize, however, that what you post can have an effect on your bankruptcy proceedings. Filing for bankruptcy is a personal matter and what you post online is a window into your personal life. Part of filing for bankruptcy involves disclosing all of your assets and other information in an honest and timely manner. If something you post online contradicts or brings into question the information you provided to the bankruptcy trustee, you could find yourself in serious trouble.

For example, say you own a boat but failed to disclose that as an asset during your bankruptcy filing. You then post pictures on Facebook of yourself enjoying a little fun in the sun on the water. In the event that those pictures come to the attention of anyone who knows about your bankruptcy, the consequences can be severe. Other examples include posting pictures of expensive dinners and vacations, or bragging about a recent purchase you made or a new lucrative job.

No one knows this better than rapper 50 Cent (real name Curtis Jackson). CNN Money reports that after filing for bankruptcy last July, he has posted numerous pictures of himself on Instagram surrounded by wads of cash. Jackson has now been ordered to appear before a bankruptcy judge to account for these pictures. Also at issue are pictures of several concerts where he presumably made money but did not report such money to the court, and the fact that he trademarked his stage name. While you may not have as many followers as a well-known celebrity, the lesson is the same. Always honestly disclose your assets and be careful about what you post on social media. This article is intended as general information only, and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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