There often is a stigma that surrounds personal bankruptcy, in that many in Nashville may view it as simply a form of escape. Their opinion might be that those filing are looking to escape from financial responsibilities that result from frivolous (or in some cases, even unethical) decisions. Bankruptcy is indeed meant to be a tool to help those in financial distress, yet might there actually be scenarios when debtors attempt to use that tool deceitfully?
That is what is being alleged by state officials in Oregon currently involved in an ethics investigation of the state’s former first lady. The woman is accused of using her position to benefit herself financially. She filed for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in July of last year, with penalties owed for ethics violations and a judgment owed stemming from a lawsuit with a local paper listed among her many liabilities. However, those particular debts are currently still accruing, as both the lawsuit and the ethics commission case have not yet been settled. State ethics officials are now claiming that the woman’s bankruptcy case is simply intended to delay those proceedings. The woman’s lawyer, however, has responded by saying that his client has operated in good faith throughout the entire process, and that he believes her issues with the two entities will be resolved in a mere manner of weeks.
It may be easy for creditors to become frustrated with the amount of time needed to complete a bankruptcy case, yet that frustration does not necessarily mean that any wrongdoing has been done on the part of the debtor. As long as a debtor meets the deadlines and obligations imposed by the court, they remain under the protection bankruptcy offers. Those needing such protection themselves may be wise to seek the advice of a bankruptcy attorney.