Where Should I File Bankruptcy if I Just Moved to a New State?

If a debtor has recently changed his or her state of residence, the debtor may file in the state in which he or she now lives, but may need to utilize the exemptions from the state in which he resided prior to the move. 

The rule is somewhat complicated, but provides as follows:

If you live in a state where you have the ability to choose either the federal bankruptcy exemptions or the state exemptions, then you can choose the federal bankruptcy exemption in the state of your new residence without regard to how long you were living in the state.

730-day rule. If you have been domiciled (i.e. lived) in a state for at least 730 calendar days prior to the filing date of your bankruptcy case, you can use that state’s exemptions or the federal options, if your state allows you to choose the state or federal exemptions.

180-day rule. If you have not been domiciled in your current state continuously for at least 730 days prior to the date of your case, then you must use the exemptions from the state in which you lived the majority of the time during the 180 days prior to the 730 day period.  In other words, you must use the exemptions from the state in which you lived the majority of time between 730 days and 910 days before filing your bankruptcy case.

If you choose to use an attorney to file Bankruptcy, you should select one licensed to practice in the state where the filing is to be made; you can find an attorney for FREE at Standard Legal’s Attorney Find page.

To file for Bankruptcy pro se (i.e. self-help) without help from an attorney, see Standard Legal’s Bankruptcy legal forms software.