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Where Do You File For Bankruptcy?


Many people do not know that bankruptcy is actually a Federal court action and not a state one. Therefore, state law does not apply in bankruptcy cases. Learning where and how to file for bankruptcy can help you feel better prepared when you make the final decision to create a new financial fresh start through bankruptcy.

Federal Law

Americans can file two different types of personal bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Both types of bankruptcy offer different advantages. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows a debtor to discharge a great deal of personal debt, but in exchange must use assets to pay for certain obligations. Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not always allow for the discharge of a debt, but rather allows a debtor to establish a repayment plan under which a debtor will repay creditors on a 3-5 year court-approved schedule or plan.

Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies are handled in Federal court instead of the state court in which you live. You will need to determine where the Federal court is in your particular district. The Federal court system is divided throughout the United States into several different judicial districts, and there will always be at least 1 judicial district in each state.

Districts in Florida

There are three judicial district courts in the state of Florida, the Northern District, the Middle District, and the Southern District.

Where Does a Debtor File for Bankruptcy in Florida?

To make a determination where to file for bankruptcy is not a difficult process, in fact, you have several options regarding where you may be able to file. You can file as a debtor for bankruptcy in Florida in any district where the following applies:

  • You live and maintain a home, even if you live somewhere else temporarily
  • You have lived for at least 180 days prior to filing for bankruptcy
  • You have a business
  • You have most of your business assets

In most cases, a debtor will typically file in the federal bankruptcy judicial district court where they have been living for the past 180 days. In order to determine where your specific bankruptcy court is you can simply call the bankruptcy court in your largest city and directly ask where you should file for bankruptcy.

Requirements to File For Bankruptcy

The requirements to file for bankruptcy are uniform throughout the United States since bankruptcy law is Federal. However, every bankruptcy court will have its own set of unique requirements regarding bankruptcy paperwork, and therefore it is important to know what you need to have before filing for bankruptcy. You can either call the court, look at the federal bankruptcy website, or contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney to help you with the process.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

Visiting with an experienced bankruptcy attorney will give you the peace of mind you need knowing you are getting the knowledge and correct legal advice regarding your bankruptcy. In some cases, a bankruptcy attorney can save you money, your home, and your property by helping you fill out your bankruptcy paperwork correctly and to your benefit. Contact the West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorneys at Kelley Kaplan & Eller at 561-264-6850 for a consultation and to help you through the bankruptcy process.


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