Nobody wants to file for bankruptcy, whether for business or personal reasons. There are situations, however, in which normal debt relief just won’t work. Bankruptcy exists as a helpful option for those who find themselves facing financial challenges that they simply cannot overcome. It is important to understand, though, that going about the process in the wrong way can leave you in even worse trouble.

An Iowa businessman filed for personal bankruptcy in 2013, and he is now being accused of fraud, with a U.S. Trustee believing that the businessman was concealing assets during the proceedings. Citing more than $6 million in debt, the Iowan filed for personal bankruptcy to stop creditor harassment and manage his debt, but if he’s convicted of fraud, he could lose all of the protections afforded him by the bankruptcy filings.

This case serves not only as an example of the potential dangers of reporting assets incorrectly. Whether you live in Iowa or Ohio, bankruptcy exists as an option for people who have accrued debt that they cannot repay, often as a result of unexpected life changes. In order for it to be beneficial, however, it is important to ensure that your filing is accurate.

When debt becomes truly unmanageable and your life becomes unbearable because of the stress of creditor harassment, bankruptcy may be your best option. A personal bankruptcy filing can help you manage your debt while keeping many of your possessions, including your car and home in many cases. When filing for bankruptcy, however, it is important to be transparent about what you have and what you owe. Working with an experienced bankruptcy attorney is a good way to make sure you are submitting a complete filing.

Source: Business Record, “Bankruptcy court officials accuse Vratsinas of embezzlement, fraud,” Kent Darr, March. 21, 2014