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Filing Bankruptcy from Outside the United States

Can you file for bankruptcy in the United States if you live in Canada…or England…or Japan? The answer, at least in Maryland, is “Yes.”

With the increased mobility of people and the ease of transportation around the world, it is quite common for someone living outside the US to want or need to file for bankruptcy here. These "foreign bankruptcies" are different from those provided for in Chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code, which deals with cases that are started outside the US. Foreign bankruptcies usually involve a former US resident who incurs debt here, and then moves outside the US. Debt collectors now have a global reach; moving outside the US won't stop them from calling, writing, or collecting. And most countries' consumer protection laws are far weaker than those in the US.

In other words, there are good reasons for someone who doesn't live here to file for bankruptcy here. 

Do I Need to Live in the US to File Bankruptcy In the US?


But there are some restrictions

For us to help, you first need to have your "principal assets in the United States" located in Maryland for at least 91 days before you file. And although pre-Covid you needed to come back to the United States for the Meeting of Creditors, right now all Meetings are being conducted via Zoom. There are some other requirements. But there is no requirement in the Bankruptcy Code that you live or work in the US or even be a US citizen to file for bankruptcy in the US.

You just need to take advantage of the benefits of filing.

We have filed many cases for people living outside the United States, and brought the first reported lawsuit in Maryland establishing their right to do so. We know what's required, and what the Court wants to see. Most bankruptcy attorneys don't know how to handle a "foreign bankruptcy." We do.

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