Fifth Amendment–Self Incrimination

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that “no person…shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself…” An individual debtor’s rights under the Fifth Amendment apply in bankruptcy, and a debtor’s discharge may not be denied for failure to answer on Fifth Amendment grounds unless the debtor continues to refuse to answer after receiving immunity. A court, however, is permitted to draw an inference against a debtor based on the debtor’s invocation of the Fifth Amendment privilege.

Bankruptcy Code §§ 343, 344, 521(a)(4).

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