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Where Should I file Bankruptcy If I Have Just Moved?

  • By: Christopher Benson
  • Published: July 18, 2014

For most people, there is no question where to file bankruptcy. You live, work and pay taxes in one state or town. However, if you own property or a business in more than one state, just recently moved or got divorced, you may not want to file bankruptcy in a new place where you don’t know anyone or have any connections.

The Bankruptcy Code is federal law. But, there are variations and differences based on different jurisdictions.

The proper place to file bankruptcy is wherever your principle residence is located—even if the property or business involved in the case is located elsewhere. However, which State’s Means Test Analysis and Which Bankruptcy Exemptions you must use varies depending on a variety of timelines.

You must have resided in the state where the bankruptcy is filed for the 90 days preceding the filing. If the debtor has not resided in the state that long, the debtor must file in the state where he or she has resided, or has had his or her principal place of business or which has been the location of his or her principal assets for the majority of the last 180 days. 28 USC 1408

When it comes to which bankruptcy exemptions apply to the assets of the debtor, if you have lived in a state for less than 730 days (2 years), you have to use the exemptions that apply to the state from which you moved.

So, it is possible to be required to file a bankruptcy case in one state and use the bankruptcy exemptions from a different state in those situations.

Every case is different. Therefore, it is important to meet with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer prior to making any financial decisions or changes in your financial life.

Over the past 27 years, the Law Offices of Christopher A. Benson has helped over 2,300 of Washington clients take control of their financial situation. We can stop your garnishment and change your monthly payments for all your combined unsecured debt, and if you have had more than $600 garnished within the last 90 days, we can get all of the money back in most cases. But you have to act quickly–call (253) 815-6940 for your free consultation, or email us today. Evening and weekend appointments available.

Christopher Benson

About the Author Chris served on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity
Seattle/S. King County for 10 years and served as Vice President
of the organization during part of that time. Read More