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Bankruptcy A-Z – D is for Domicile

by Dorota Trzeciecka on March 4th, 2012

Your domicile is where you are living, and intend to live for an indefinite time, even if you’ve been living elsewhere temporarily.  Domicile may govern where you file your bankruptcy case, but most importantly, what state’s exemptions you can use in your bankruptcy case.

You can file your case in a bankruptcy court in the district where you “[have] been domiciled, [have] had a residence, principal place of business, or principal assets for 180 days immediately preceding the date of the petition or for a longer part of such 180 days than in any other district”.

Which state exemptions you may use are governed by these domicile rules:

  • If you have been living in your current state for two years, you must use that state exemptions.  Each state has its own set of exemption rules, since Bankruptcy Code gave states the right to limit the use of federal exemptions;
  • If you have been living in your current state for less than two years, you must use the exemption of the state where you were domiciled for a longer part of 180 days immediately prior to two-year period preceding the filing of your petition.  If that state permits only its current residents to use its exemptions, then you can use federal exemptions.
  • If you have been living in your current state for less than 91 days, than you have to wait until you have lived there for at least 91 days, to even file in that state , and  then use the exemption rules in accordance with these domicile rules.
  • If the state where you are filing allows federal exemptions to be used, you can use these exemptions regardless of how long you’ve been domiciled in that state.
  • If your situation does not allow you to use any of these domicile rule, then you can use federal exemptions.
Domicile rules courtesy of  NOLO Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

To learn more about bankruptcy terms beginning with D, follow these links:

Debt Relief Agency

Debtor 

Debtor

Declaring bankruptcy

Deconsolidate

Discharge

Discharge

Discharge

Disclose

Disclosures

Do’s and Don’ts

Documents

Domestic Support

DUI, DWI, OVI

Discharge

Do’s and Don’ts