Archive for August, 2011

Can Immigrants File For Bankruptcy?

Immigrants frequently come into our office wanting help with their debt, if they do they often have two questions: are they permitted file bankruptcy and what effect can it have on their immigration status?

In regards to the first question, the answer is yes. The Bankruptcy Code does not need you to be described as a U. S. citizen so that you can file bankruptcy, so broadly speaking debtors can file without regard for their legal status.

For some, this can be confusing in the end, those official forms you need to fill in ask you for the Social Security Number. People frequently don’t get that you have three options: provide your Social Security number, provide your tax ID number, or just state that you don’t have a Social Security number (NOTE: this is most certainly perhaps not the time to lie on any documents, don’t work with a fake number or make an effort to use somebody else’s; read on for how this can affect you).

Filing for bankruptcy does not mean that you’re a criminal, it’s not a crime. Rather, it indicates that you are doing what’s responsible, yourself along with your family. Filing for bankruptcy generally speaking will not affect your legal status in the U. S. or your citizenship application, there are other crimes that will. Crimes of “moral turpitude” (which essentially means a crime where the offender had malicious or evil intent) may cause one’s application for citizenship to be rejected, it may also end up in your deportation.

Why am I letting you know this? Fraud is considered a crime of “moral turpitude” meaning in the event that you commit bankruptcy fraud, whether purposely or as the consequence of a mistake, you land in big trouble with the U. S. government. Same holds true if you attemptedto file with a fake or “borrowed” Social Security Number.Fraud will probably end in denial of your application for citizenship and even your deportation. So while a U. S. citizen could be dealing with the typical consequences of bankruptcy fraud, a non-citizen is most likely going to be worse off.

It is always essential to make sure you have an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Even tiny, simple mistakes could be costly. When addressing a lawyer you are considering for your case make sure you ask how much bankruptcy experience they have. An attorney might offer to take your case, but that doesn’t mean they’re the best person for the job..

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