BEWARE: Social Media Posts Can Affect Bankruptcy


Social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and others have become the secret source for bill collectors, creditors and bankruptcy Trustees; a Chicago bankruptcy lawyer will warn you on what posts and pictures can adversely affect your bankruptcy. For many years, divorce attorneys scoured social media sites to get evidence of marital infidelities, large purchases, and more. Now, the same is happening to debtors as creditors, bill collectors and bankruptcy Trustees are searching for evidence against the debtor in bankruptcy cases.

Many people do not guard what they post online for the world to see and rarely do individuals at the start of a bankruptcy, or later in the midst of one, consider that the photos of their vacation, new car, or other purchases are at risk for being brought into evidence in the bankruptcy court. Recent vacations and purchases may raise concern with the bankruptcy Trustee as to how debtors are spending their financial resources. Especially in the case of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, an increase in spending may lead the Trustee to investigate whether the debtor's income has increased and the repayment plan needs to be adjusted upwards. The payment plan is determined by the debtor's income and the amount of disposable income at the time of filing for bankruptcy; with a change in your financial status, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy Trustee may be able to petition the bankruptcy court to increase your monthly payments.

Debtors in the process of bankruptcy are advised to avoid publishing information to business networking websites as well. New jobs, raises, or new entrepreneurial ventures can cause you to land back in bankruptcy court and have your income, assets, and debts reconsidered. Your Chicago bankruptcy lawyer should advise to steer clear of this sort of self-promotion on all social media platforms. Even when privacy settings are set high, the Trustee and creditors still have the ability to subpoena the social media sites for access to the information you post to use as evidence in the bankruptcy court.

Remember, creditors, bill collectors, and the bankruptcy court appointed Trustee of your bankruptcy estate may be trolling social media sites looking for evidence your situation has changed, or that you were not entirely forthcoming in the listing of your income, assets, and job positions. A bankruptcy lawyer in Chicago, Illinois can guide you successfully through the bankruptcy process.