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Do I Need to Be a Citizen of the United States to File A Bankruptcy Case?

Serving Families Throughout Mobile

To file a consumer bankruptcy case in the United States, you generally do not need to be a U.S. citizen. The U.S. Bankruptcy Code does not specifically require citizenship as a prerequisite for filing bankruptcy. However, there are certain eligibility criteria and requirements that apply to all individuals, regardless of their citizenship status.

Here are some important points to consider:

Residency: You must have a sufficient connection to the United States, typically through residency, to file for bankruptcy. Each bankruptcy district may have specific residency requirements, but generally, you need to have lived in the district for a certain period of time before filing.

Documentation: You will need to provide certain identification documents to initiate the bankruptcy process. These documents typically include a government-issued photo ID, Social Security number (or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number), and proof of address.

Financial affairs in the United States: You must have some financial ties or affairs in the United States to be eligible for bankruptcy. For example, you may need to demonstrate that you have property, assets, debts, or income within the country.

Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 bankruptcy: The type of bankruptcy you can file may vary based on your immigration status. While both U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, eligibility for Chapter 13 bankruptcy (which involves a repayment plan) may be more complex for non-U.S. citizens.

It's important to consult with a qualified bankruptcy attorney who can guide you through the specific requirements and implications based on your individual circumstances. They will be able to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding bankruptcy laws and regulations.