How long do you have to been a resident ofa statebefore you can file bankruptcy there?

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How long do you have to been a resident ofa statebefore you can file bankruptcy there?

Asked on March 17, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Georgia

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can file for bankruptcy in GA as soon as you become a resident.  However, certain property is "exempt" (cannot be taken) when a bankruptcy is filed.  Under federal law there is a list of such exemptions; additionally some states have their own list of exemptions and the debtor can decide which list they wish to use.  Although, in order to use a state's exemptions, you must have lived in the state for 2 years.  If you have lived there for less than 2 years, you count back 2 years from the date you file for bankruptcy and then look at where you lived for the 180 days (6 months) before that.  Whichever state you lived in for the longest time during that 6-month period is the state that controls which exemptions you can use. 

Note:  However, some states don’t allow you to use their exemptions unless you currently live in that state.  If you get caught in this gap, you’ll have to use the federal exemptions.


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