Can a Noncitizen File for Bankruptcy?

Can a Noncitizen File for Bankruptcy?

  • By:Matthew Casper
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Before we address the question that serves as the title of this blog post, we should explain some of the basic reasons why bankruptcy could provide a solution if you are struggling financially. If you qualify for a Chapter 7 filing, your unsecured debt can be completely discharged. Unsecured debts include credit card balances, unpaid medical bills, and a number of other types of debts. When you rid yourself of these obligations, other debts that you may have, like your home mortgage or student loan, will be easier to pay.

People who cannot qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can choose a Chapter 13. This is a reorganization bankruptcy that allows you to pay back a portion of your debts over a three-year or five-year period. Once again, some unsecured debts may be discharged so that you can afford to pay your non-dischargeable debts through the repayment plan.

Now that we have set the stage, we can get to the point of this post. There are many people who reside in this country, but they are not citizens. Under federal laws, you can in fact file for bankruptcy if you maintain a domicile on American soil or have U.S.-based assets such as a home, a business, or any other property in the United States, even if you are not a citizen of this country. This is good news for noncitizens who are interested in bankruptcy to provide a fresh financial start.

Bankruptcy will typically not make it any more difficult to become a citizen, but in some cases, a bankruptcy filing could make it more difficult to obtain citizenship so if this is a concern to you, you should seek the advice of an experienced immigration lawyer before filing a bankruptcy.

Our firm will be glad to assist you if you would like to discuss a potential bankruptcy filing with us whether you are a citizen or a noncitizen who is living in the United States. We serve clients in Vancouver and Tri-Cities in Washington, and we have many locations throughout Oregon. To schedule a complimentary consultation, call us toll-free at 800-682-9568.

Posted in: Bankruptcy, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

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