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  • Writer's pictureBrett Weiss

What *Aren't* The Requirements for Bankruptcy?

Updated: Jan 16

There are a lot of discussions about the requirements you must meet before you can file for bankruptcy. But what are some the requirements that don't exist?

1.  You don't have to be a United States citizen. The Bankruptcy Code imposes no citizenship requirement on bankruptcy filers.

2.  You don't have to live in the United States to file. I have filed many cases for people who live outside the United States to deal with their United States debt.

3.  You don't have to be in the United States legally. There is no requirement in the Code that you have to have legal status in the United States.

4.  You don't have to be eligible to vote. This means that even felons can file (and many incarcerated people do file).

5.  You don't have to have a Social Security Number. The Code doesn't require that you have one as a condition of filing.

6.  You don't even have to be an adult. I’ve filed Chapter 13’s for a 10 year old orphan, and a 10 month old infant, and got both plans confirmed by the Court.

7.  You don't have to have a certain amount of debt. Technically, you could file for bankruptcy if you had $1.00 of debt. It would be a pretty dumb thing to do, since the filing fee for a Chapter 7 is $338, but there is no prohibition in the Code against it.

8. You don't have to file if your spouse files. You might want to, particularly if you each have debt or if there's joint debt, but it's not a requirement.

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