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Do I have to disclose discharged bankruptcy after 10 years? For job? Mortgage? anything?


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Just wondering if there are any circumstances in which I am legally required to disclose a discharged bankruptcy that happened more than 10 years ago?  Job application?  Mortgage application? etc  If I say "no / none" to any such inquiry, am I within my rights to be dishonest about it?

 

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2 hours ago, ReachingFor850 said:

Just wondering if there are any circumstances in which I am legally required to disclose a discharged bankruptcy that happened more than 10 years ago?  Job application?  Mortgage application? etc  If I say "no / none" to any such inquiry, am I within my rights to be dishonest about it?

"Legally required" - not sure what that means. 

If you don't tell the truth are you committing a crime?  That depends upon the circumstances.   For example, it is a Federal crime to lie on a mortgage application.  See 18 U.S.C. § 1014. 

If you lie, and such lie does not rise to the level of a crime, but the other party relied upon your failure to tell the truth (your misrepresentation) then maybe you committed a civil fraud against that individual and can be sued by that individual.

Bottom line - always tell the truth. 

If the question asks "have you filed bankruptcy within the past 8 years" and the truth is yes, then answer "yes".  If the truth is no then answer "no". 

If the question is open-ended (no time frame) such as "have you ever filed bankruptcy", and you did many decades ago, the truthful answer is "yes".

Des.

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On 2/19/2021 at 2:05 PM, ReachingFor850 said:

Just wondering if there are any circumstances in which I am legally required to disclose a discharged bankruptcy that happened more than 10 years ago?  Job application?  Mortgage application? etc  If I say "no / none" to any such inquiry, am I within my rights to be dishonest about it?

 

Most mortgage applications that I've seen only ask if you've had a bankruptcy in the past 7 years.  So you wouldn't be lying.  

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One thing to note:

There are few times when one would be asked an open ended version of that question.  
The most probable time would be job related— needing some sort of security clearance. 
In that case, admitting to a 10+ year old BK doesn’t hurt at all, and may make you appear honest.  They want to know if you have financial liabilities now.  I am in banking, and I was able to get my first banking job by showing that all my defaults were past the SOL, therefore no risk.  
 

If you lie on one of those forms, and are caught, you could be fired or even face criminal prosecution in some cases, such as government security clearance.  So never lie on those forms.  
 

The less likely scenario would be a court case or investigation in which your answer is under oath or otherwise prosecutable.  Martha Stewart went to prison for stretching the truth in a way she thought wasn’t lying. Just don’t lie.  

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