For most types of bankruptcy cases, you will know where to file bankruptcy by consulting with an attorney or by contacting the bankruptcy court in your area. However, it can be difficult to locate the right court. Currently, there are over 90 federal district courts in the United States. Each one of these courts has a separate bankruptcy court. Debtors who are looking to file may find even more obstacles. It is not uncommon for bankruptcy courts to have several locations.
The following rules will provide more information about the filing process so you will know where to file bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy law requires that you should file for bankruptcy in a court that is located where you have maintained a residence for at least 6 months before you filed for bankruptcy. Business owners who want to declare bankruptcy should file with a court in a location where the business has operated for a minimum of 6 months and where their assets are located before filing.
If you have moved recently, you will be advised to file with the court that is near the location where you have lived or your business and/or assets have been for the majority of the 180 days before you filed for bankruptcy.
Deciding to File near Your Home
The majority of those who decide to file for bankruptcy will file with the court that is closest to their homes. You can easily locate the bankruptcy court that is in your district by searching online on the United States Court locater website. After entering your zip code, the federal courts including bankruptcy courts that are near you will be listed. You can also consult with a local experienced bankruptcy attorney. The attorney will advise you on the appropriate bankruptcy court to begin the filing process.
It is also important to remember that you can only file for bankruptcy with a federal court. This means that you cannot file with a state court even if the court is closer to you than the federal court.
If you mistakenly file with the wrong court, your case will not be automatically dismissed. However, you may have to appear before a judge to explain the matter. The final decision to dismiss or transfer your case will be left up to the court. You can avoid dismissals and other challenges by hiring a bankruptcy attorney to help you.
Do you need to speak with a bankruptcy attorney? Contact us to schedule a consultation.