Venue determines where a debtor can file for bankruptcy. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1408 a debtor may file for bankruptcy in a district in which the domicile, residence, principal place of business in the United States, or principal assets in the United States of the debtor have been located for the 180 days preceding the filing, or for a longer portion of such 180-day period.
So what does that mean for the debtor? It means that if you moved to Florida yesterday and you tried to file for bankruptcy today your case will likely get dismissed for lack of venue. However if you moved to Florida 91 days ago (the greater part of the 180-day period) and you intend that Florida be your domicile then you will be able to file for bankruptcy in Florida. In order to show that you want to be domiciled in Florida you should switch over your driver’s license to Florida, get Florida tags/registrations on your vehicle, and register to vote here. By doing so you will be able to file for bankruptcy in Florida.
However there is one caveat to filing for bankruptcy soon after moving to Florida, and that is that the debtor may not be able to use the Florida exemptions to protect his or her assets.
If you are thinking of filing for bankruptcy in South Florida and would like to schedule a free consultation with Ofer Shmucher of Shmucher Law, PL then please contact us at 954.309.5559 or 305.741.5553. We offer free consultations in any of our office locations (Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Plantation, Sunrise, Florida).