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Who can File for Bankruptcy?

Posted on in Bankruptcy Attorney Illinois
Who can File for Bankruptcy?

Individuals who are facing insurmountable levels of debt can file for bankruptcy to have their debts discharged under court supervision. In order to file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, an individual must meet certain requirements. Individuals over the age of 18, regardless of gender, race, employment, or marital status can file for bankruptcy.

Certain individuals cannot file for bankruptcy. In some of these cases, the individual can benefit from bankruptcy by having his or her representative file the petition and complete the process. In others, an individual is barred from filing for bankruptcy.

All Legal United States Residents can File for Bankruptcy

To file for bankruptcy in the United States, an individual must legally reside in the country or own a business or other property. An individual does not have to be a United States citizen to file for bankruptcy.

In Some Cases, Undocumented Immigrants can File for Bankruptcy

If an undocumented immigrant maintains a home or owns a business or other property in the United States, he or she can file for bankruptcy despite not being a citizen or lawful permanent resident.

Individuals who do not have social security numbers must obtain individual taxpayer information numbers (ITINs) in order to file for bankruptcy and complete the process. These can be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and are issued regardless of citizenship status.

Minors Cannot File for Bankruptcy

An individual must be at least 18 years old to file for bankruptcy. There is no reason for a minor to file for bankruptcy because a minor cannot obtain credit or accrue debt. Medical debt for a child is the responsibility of his or her parents, who can file for bankruptcy if their debt reaches a point where they cannot comfortably repay it.

An Incapacitated Individual's Representative can File for Bankruptcy on His or Her Behalf

When an adult is mentally or physically incapacitated, the individual who has power of attorney for his or her financial affairs may file for bankruptcy on his or her behalf if that individual is the incapacitated party's representative. Before granting another person power of attorney or accepting the responsibility for a loved one, determine whether doing so also makes the agent the principal's representative. As the agent, your role requires you to handle all interactions with the court and the bankruptcy trustee to satisfy the principal's debts with money from his or her estate. You are expected to act in the principal's best interest at all times while acting with power of attorney for him or her.

Work with an Experienced Rolling Meadows Bankruptcy Attorney

To learn more about the bankruptcy process and whether or not you qualify to file, speak with one of the experienced bankruptcy lawyers on our team at Newland & Newland, LLP. Contact our firm today to set up your initial legal consultation in our office. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.

(image courtesy of Tim Evans)

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