While you can theoretically file a bankruptcy petition anywhere in the United States, filing in the wrong court can cause delays, complications, and extra expense for your case.
When deciding where to file, consider:
- Where you live.
- Where you operate a business.
- Where the majority of your assets are located.
Which of these criteria you use for deciding where to file depends on the primary cause of your bankruptcy. A bankruptcy attorney can advise you on the best route to take.
A general rule, especially if your debts are primarily consumer or medical, is to file your case where you spent the majority of the last 180 days either living or operating a business. That means if you’ve moved recently, you should select the location where you spent most of the last six months, not necessarily where you currently live.
If your debts are primarily business-related, you may want to file where the business is instead of where you currently live or have spent the majority of the last 180 days.
If you will be liquidating your assets as part of bankruptcy, it may make sense to file where the majority of your physical assets are.
There are exceptions and particulars that can impact any case. For example, filing in one state versus another may change your exemptions.
Always review your options with an experienced attorney before filing. You can find one through the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys database.