In the globalized economy people move around a lot, and sometimes they will work overseas for long periods of time. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are not taking on debt or need to file bankruptcy in Las Vegas. When they do so they always ask if it’s possible, and of course it is. There are five things that you should know, however.
(1) Although all bankruptcy courts have personal jurisdiction over the parties in a bankruptcy case, they do not have what the law refers to as “venue.” Venue is the idea that some courts are more appropriate to hear a case than others, which means one of the parties can ask the court to move the case to where venue is more appropriate.
(2) For consumer bankruptcy cases, 28 USC § 1408(1) [http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/28/1408] defines venue for bankruptcy cases as “the domicile, residence, principal place of business in the United States, or principal assets in the United States, of the person or entity that is the subject of such case have been located for the one hundred and eighty days immediately preceding such commencement, or for a longer portion of such one-hundred-and-eighty-day period than the domicile, residence, or principal place of business, in the United States, or principal assets in the United States, of such person were located in any other district.”
(3) For the most part, this means that if you lived in Las Vegas in the last six months, maintained a permanent residence in Las Vegas over the last six months, or lived in Las Vegas for the better part of the last six months, then Nevada bankruptcy court will be the appropriate venue for your case. Given that very few Americans actually live permanently overseas, venue is usually not an issue.
(4) You can take the mandatory financial management course electronically or over the phone, so that shouldn’t be an impediment.
(5) The only remaining difficulty is your representation and appearance at the Section 341 meeting of the creditors, which you must be present for. There are two options: (a) execute a power of attorney document that allows a personal representative to stand in your place at the hearing, or (b) work with the trustee to allow you to appear via distance communication whether that’s telephonically, voice-over-IP, or some other piece of technology.
If you live overseas but maintain a permanent residence in Las Vegas, you should have no problem filing bankruptcy so long as you hire an experienced bankruptcy lawyer.
For more questions about bankruptcy in Las Vegas, please feel free to contact an experienced Haines & Krieger Las Vegas bankruptcy attorney for a free initial consultation. Call us at 1-702-880-5554 to set up your free consultation.