In Which State Should I File Bankruptcy?

The culture of St. Louis invites you to consider the entire metro-area as “St. Louis.” The truth is the Mississippi divides us and changes the laws we must follow, including the rules and regulations for bankruptcy. To add to the confusion, many of us live in Illinois and work in Missouri or vice-versa. So, if you spend time in both states, which one should you file bankruptcy in?

Your filing state for bankruptcy is the one in which you’ve lived for the 3 months before you file your bankruptcy case. For example, if you’ve lived in Illinois for the past three months, you wouldn’t be able to file a Missouri chapter 7. You must file in Missouri. If you have moved within the last 90 days, you will be able to file bankruptcy in the state where you’ve spent 91 days or more. Yes, it can come down to the day.

It is easy to think that there is a way to take advantage of the system, a state to file in where you’ll have more success–which leads us to the question of where to file. Neither state is necessarily a better state to file bankruptcy in but they do have some key differences between them. The main differences between Missouri and Illinois bankruptcy filings will be the trustee, the exemptions, and the local court rules.

It is important to know, though, that the rules specific to each district are meant to help you. After all, they are designed for people in your jurisdiction. At the end of the day, it is best to file where you are supposed to file. Not only could you risk an objection from the Trustee by filing in the wrong state, but you could also put your own financial future at risk. It truly isn’t worth trying to cheat the system.

If you aren’t sure where to file Missouri or Illinois bankruptcy, the best place to start is with an experienced St. Louis bankruptcy attorney. Look for an attorney who understands the rules and exemptions and knows the trustees on both sides of the river. By beginning your bankruptcy filing with a great attorney, you give yourself the best opportunity for a success case, no matter which state you file in. He or she should be able to get you the protection from foreclosure, credit card debt help, and relief from creditors you need while still using the exemptions and local rules to protect your property and family.

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