Many people often wonder how the bankruptcy process works, especially when it comes to where they are supposed to file their case. Each state is broken into different “districts” that oversee cases of federal bankruptcy law for residents of that area. Further, each district could be split into different “divisions” that often cover larger cities and populations.
Florida Bankruptcy Districts
When it comes to filing for bankruptcy, residents are required to file based on which district they reside in. The state of Florida is divided into three: Northern District, Middle District and Southern District. Each of these districts also contains divisions. For example, the Tampa bankruptcy court is located in its own division within the Middle District of Florida bankruptcy court. These divisions are important for determining which court will be managing any given bankruptcy case and where related hearings will be held.
Debtors determine which district to file their case based on two factors. The first is where the debtor has been living; the second is where the principal assets have been located. Both of these factors are based on the time period of the 180 days prior to the filing. In most cases, the answer two both factors is the same. However, someone may have moved from their district while still having their assets located there. In this case, the debtor would be able to file in either of the districts specified by the current residence or current location of assets.
While many people choose the district of their current residence, the Residency Rule is often summarized by the statement “You can file your bankruptcy in the Federal District where you are living now once you have lived in your current District for 91 days. Until you have lived in your current District for 91 days, you must file in the Federal District where you came from, not where you live now.”