On the internet, nobody knows if you’re bankrupt – MarketWatch

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A dog! In front of a computer!

This October, when Ido Alexander saw photos a young man had posted on social media, he thought he had hit the bankruptcy jackpot.

Alexander, a Florida lawyer working for a court-appointed trustee, dispatched an appraiser to the man’s home to inspect the expensive-looking gold chains and other jewelry he had been posing in, which he hadn’t declared as assets in court filings.

The appraiser made another discovery that is becoming all too common in the age of social-media braggadocio. “At the end of the day, it was really costume jewelry,” Mr. Alexander says. “It was really disappointing.”

The industry’s detectives — lawyers and accountants who serve as chapter 7 bankruptcy trustees—are learning what most teenagers have already figured out, which is that you can’t always believe what you see on Facebook and Twitter.

An expanded version of this story can be found at WSJ.com

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