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Filing Bankruptcy If You Reside outside of the United States

Posted by attorney Mohammed Badwan

I ran into an interesting fact pattern last week. The debtor has a property in Chicago that he would like to surrender in a Chapter 7. However, the debtor does not currently live in the United States but may be returning in the near future. The client's goal is to return without the stress of creditors pursuing him for a possible deficieny on the property he wants to surrender. Pursuant to 11 USC 109, any person can utilize the bankruptcy code as long as they reside, have a domicile, a place of business, OR property in the United States. Therefore, a debtor is able to file bankruptcy in the United States even though they currently live outside of the United States. The debtor would have to file in the District that their property is located.

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