Can we file for bankruptcy after moving to another country? 6 Answers as of March 20, 2012

Me and my bf of seven years is in a very hard situation. He's American and I'm Swedish and we haven't been able to live together for seven years. We want to move to Sweden and live here but he has so much debt, including a new car he only started to pay for as well as older debts on cars and multiple different debt. He makes too much money to qualify for bankruptcy, the problem is that when we move to Sweden we will both live on minimal income and there will be no way for us to pay ANY of his debt. Right now we feel like our only option is to wait until he can pay off at least the car but that will take over five years. We are both heartbroken. Would filing for bankruptcy after moving to Sweden be an option for us? If he quit his job and moved here, if we then filed? a lot of people are saying it's not possible if he doesn't live in America but what if he still had property here, his car? To make it a bit easier i will split my questions up. 1. Will filing from abroad be an option for us if when he arrives here in sweden he's getting no money or very limited money? Would him being granted the green card and being married to me make a difference? 2. Will it cost more money to file from abroad? what would the total sum be? 3. If he surrenders his car, will the debt be discharged? 4. In sweden we will have less than 2000 dollars to live on, but the government pay around 150 for "hobbies and entertainment", would this disqualify him through the means test even though the super low income? 5. He would have to quit his job to come here with me, is there a chance the court will see his money troubles as "his fault" when we file a few months later and deny? even though he's moving for love? We are completely desperate for any advice or answers, we just want to be able to finally be together.

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The Law Office of Marvin Wolf
The Law Office of Marvin Wolf | Marvin Wolf
Generally, it is possible to file for bankruptcy after moving to a foreign country. The reduction in income would make it easier to pass the means test. The issue is holding a trustee's meeting - some trustees may agree to hold a "meeting" on papers, others might allow Skype - it may require a separate motion before the judge which would increase legal fees. But it can be done and has been done in the past in other cases. NJ would retain jurisdiction to hear the case.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 3/20/2012
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
He would have to go to court for his bankruptcy so he can not file if he left the country. If he really wants to qualify then he can quit his job now, show that he has had no paycheck for 60 days, then they will take the cumulative 6 month average income to see if he passes the income test (means test). If he qualifies then, he can file chapter 7 bankruptcy and surrender the car back to the car company and that debt will also be included in the bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 3/15/2012
Gregory J. Wald, Attorney at Law
Gregory J. Wald, Attorney at Law | Gregory J. Wald
He could file while living in Sweden if he has property in the United States. It may cost more, but it is up to the attorney. If he successfully files bankruptcy, he can surrender the car and the remaining debt will be discharged. If his average income for the past six calendar months is below the median, he should be eligible for ch 7 bankruptcy. This is not an issue. However, it would really be much better if he files bankruptcy before he moves out of the United States, even if he has to quit his job to qualify. One reason is that he has to attend a hearing, so he would have to go to the expense of returning to the U.S. for the hearing. Also it is hard for a lawyer to work with him when he is not in the country.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 3/14/2012
The Barger Law Firm
The Barger Law Firm | Jason W. Barger
You must be domiciled in the county in which you are filing for six months. So, moving to Sweden and filing for bankruptcy is not an option. You cannot file bankruptcy while living in another country. If he incurred the loan on the car within 910 days of filing for bankruptcy, he will be responsible for the entire note. His best option, if dealing with the debt is critical, would be to file for a Chapter 13 and repay a portion of the debt over 60 months. He can then move, as long as he continues to make the monthly bankruptcy payment and receive a discharge of the debt at the conclusion of the plan term.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 3/14/2012
Diefer Law Group, P.C.
Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
No, if he is not living here than he cannot file for bankruptcy. He has to file where he is a resident and if he is not a resident because he moves that will make it hard for him to file. But the issue is why does he need to file now if he is leaving the country? His creditors cannot collect if he is not in the country. He has to be a resident here and has to come and appear at his hearing. This is not an option unless he moves out there and files shortly thereafter. He can move and file as long as he does not wait too long but he will have to travel back for his hearing. The costs should be the same with the added costs of his travel back for his court hearing. If he surrenders the car, he will still owe the money. His income would be fine. No, the court would not hold it against him if he needs to move.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/14/2012
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    He has to be there 6 months at the lower income It can be done It costs more - I have no idea what some one else would charge for this, plus the fee to have the hearing done at the American Consulate. I have done it in the past, it was a royal pain. I would charge $2,500.00 plus the filing fee to do it again. The car would be discharged.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/14/2012
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