April 27, 2016

Social Media and Bankruptcy – A Cautionary Tale

Many people enjoy sharing photos, videos, thoughts, and stories on various social media sites including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. However, if you are in the midst of any type of legal case, social media information can often impact the outcome of your case. Bankruptcy is no different and recent events in the case of rapper 50 Cent demonstrate how bankruptcy filers should use social media with caution.

The bankruptcy process requires you to be honest and forthcoming about all of your assets and debts so the court can fully understand your financial situation. The assets a bankruptcy filer has can affect their eligibility for certain types of bankruptcy, liquidation of property in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or payment arrangements in Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

If a court believes that a filer is not being honest about their assets, it can call the filer into court for a hearing, conduct further investigation into their property and assets, deny a discharge, and even accuse them of bankruptcy fraud.

50 Cent’s Bankruptcy & Social Media Problems

50 Cent–real name, Curtis James Jackson III–filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the summer of 2015 and the case is still pending in federal bankruptcy court. The rapper filed for bankruptcy claiming that he was unable to pay two legal judgments against him for $17 million and $7 million. In his disclosures, 50 Cent claimed to have about $30.5 million in property and assets and $36 million in liabilities.

Over the past few months, the rapper has posted three different photos on Instagram that seemed to be showing off how much money he has. One photo features stacks of $100 bills in the refrigerator, another showed him lying in bed with stacks of $100 bills, and a third shows $100 bills spelling out the word “broke.” When the photos were brought to the attention of the court, the bankruptcy judge called 50 Cent in for a hearing and ordered an investigation into his assets.

Attorneys for 50 Cent claimed the money was fake and that the photos are in an attempt to maintain his brand and identity in the entertainment business. However, even if his bankruptcy is successful, this case demonstrates how social media posts can complicate your case and cast doubt on your disclosures to the court.

Call to Consult with an Experienced Bankruptcy Lawyer Attorney

It is important to have the advice of a skilled bankruptcy attorney throughout your case to avoid complications. If you are considering bankruptcy in New Jersey, Maryland, or Pennsylvania, call the Law Office of Michael Alan Siddons at (610) 255-7500 for a consultation today.