Where Should I File Bankruptcy if I move to Florida from another state?

This process involves two steps. The first step is to determine which state in which to file bankruptcy.  The second step is to determine which exemptions you should use – Florida’s exemptions or the other state’s.

In determining where to file bankruptcy, you would file in the district in which you have resided (or have property located) for the majority of the last 180 days. For example, if you moved to Fort Myers from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, two months ago, you would file bankruptcy in Wisconsin. If you moved to Fort Myers 91 days ago, you would file bankruptcy in Florida.

In determining which state’s exemptions to use, you have to look at which state you have resided in for the last 730 days prior to filing bankruptcy.  If you have not resided in the state in which you are filing for at least 730 days prior to filing, you must use the exemptions of the state in which you resided for the majority of the time you resided the 180 days prior to the 730 days.  In the example above, even though you have resided in Florida for the majority of the last 180 days, you cannot use Florida exemptions because you have not lived in Florida for the 730 days prior to filing.  In this case, you would have to use the exemptions of the state in which you resided the 180 days prior to the 730 days before filing bankruptcy..

Sometimes, a state requires that you have to be a resident of that state in order to claim its
exemptions. In the above example, if the State of Wisconsin requires you to be a resident of Wisconsin in order to claim its exemptions, you would not be able to use Florida or Wisconsin exemptions if you filed bankruptcy in Florida. You would have to use the federal exemptions.

If you are moving or thinking about moving to Fort Myers, I would recommend getting
a consultation with a Fort Myers bankruptcy attorney as well as an attorney located in the state in which you are moving from. The attorneys could then determine which state would be more advantageous for you to file and which state’s exemptions would be more advantageous to you.

To speak with a bankruptcy lawyer in Fort Myers, Fl, call the Rothrock Law Firm at (239) 206-1948.

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