Monday, October 31, 2011
Where Do I File Bankruptcy?
So you have decided to file bankruptcy. Now the question is, “Where do I file?”. Well, the answer to that, in most cases, is simple. You file in the jurisdiction where you have lived for the past 180 days. The Federal Code referencing this, 28 USC 1408(1) states:
Except as provided in section 1410 of this title, a case under title 11 may be commenced in the district court for the district - (1) in which the domicile, residence, principal place of business in the United States, or principal assets in the United States, of the person or entity that is the subject of such case have been located for the one hundred and eighty days immediately preceding such commencement, or for a longer portion of such one-hundred-and-eighty-day period than the domicile, residence, or principal place of business, in the United States, or principal assets in the United States, of such person were located in any other district [emphasis added]
Notice the language of the statute states “been located for one hundred and eighty days” instead of referencing where your residence is. For the Middle District of Florida, where I practice, that means if you were lived in Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Duval, Flagler, Hamilton, Marion, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns, Sumter, Suwannee, Union or Volusia County, in Florida, for the past 180 days, then you would file in Jacksonville.
So, what happens if you have not lived in the jurisdiction you are in for the past 180 days? Then you have to look at where you lived for a majority of the past 180 days. That could be where you currently reside, or it may be in another jurisdiction. A jurisdictional map can be found at www.uscourts.gov/courtlinks, where there are 201 bankruptcy courts throughout the United States and its territories.