In real estate, we deal a lot with where someone wants to live, what neighborhood, etc. It sounds like, in bankruptcy, it matters where one has lived, and it's very particular with meaning as to where to file. If you're researching where to file bankruptcy, and you're in Los Angeles or the counties listed here, it looks like you'd file in the Central District of California.
Where do I file bankruptcy in the Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California?
(“Bankruptcy Court Central District of California”)
WHERE TO FILE
The Bankruptcy Court Central District of California is the bankruptcy court for you if you make your home in one of the following counties: Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange County, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo. “Make your home” means the place you live and intend to remain living indefinitely, where you work, vote receive mail, pay taxes, register your car, send kids to school, etc.
To figure out in which division of the Bankruptcy Court Central District of California is right for you, go to http://www.cacb.uscourts.gov/, click on "Locations" and then click on "zip search" which is a link under the words "Santa Ana," which is under the green bar.
>>> If you have lived in California for fewer than 91 days, then you need to wait until you've lived in California for at least 91 days before you can file for bankruptcy in the Bankruptcy Court Central District of California.
>>>If you have lived in California for at least 2 years and live in one of those counties, then you will file in and use one of the two California's exemption systems.
>>>If you have lived in California for at least 91 days but less than 2 years and live in one of the counties covered by the Bankruptcy Court Central District of California, then you can file bankruptcy in the Bankruptcy Court Central District of California, BUT you'll have to use the exemptions from the state where you lived for the better part of the 180 day period that was right before the two years before your bankruptcy filing.
In other words, when you look at the three and a half years before your bankruptcy filing, if you lived in California for less than two years right before the filing, then you need to use the exemptions from the state you lived in for most of the year and a half BEFORE those two years (meaning the year and a half at the beginning of that three and a half year period).
For example, if you lived in Colorado from July 30, 2009 to December 31, 2009 and then lived in California from January 1, 2010 through November 1, 2011, and planned to file on November 1, 2011, then you'd file in the Bankruptcy Court Central District of California, and you'd use the exemptions from Colorado (where you lived for most of the 180 days before the two years before your bankruptcy filing).
"You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down."
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Richardson | Buchanan, A PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION
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