A bankruptcy cast can take as little as a few months or as long as five years or more. During that time, some elements of your life are placed on hold as you recover from past financial problems.
However, not everything can be put off until your case is completed. For instance, you may need to move out of state for work, family reasons, downsizing, or other avoidable reasons. How can you manage your bankruptcy case even as you relocate? Here are three options and how to find success with them.
Option 1: Start a Fresh Case
Depending on how much time and money you've already invested in your bankruptcy, you may opt to simply ask the court to terminate it so you can begin fresh in your new state.
There is no guarantee that the court will allow you to terminate your case, but it does happen. In general, the bankruptcy court's concern is whether granting this will harm or help creditors. If you present a case that restarting in your new state will be a net positive for everyone, you may be allowed.
Option 2: Ask for a Change in Venue
A debtor may petition the bankruptcy court to authorize the movement of their case from one federal venue to another one which serves the new state.
The court's primary concern in either authorizing or denying this is usually whether or not the move is being done in order to gain an unfair advantage in your case. For example, if a neighboring state's exemption rules would allow you to keep your home and you decide to move there solely for that. The court may not permit this type of gaming.
However, if your move is necessary due to things like finding better work, moving back with family, or reducing expenses, the court may see it as a positive thing both for you and your creditors.
Options 3: Leave Your Case Alone
Finally, you may want to simply go ahead and move without changing your venue or the progress of your case. This is most easily done if you move to a nearby state. But since things like the 341 creditors meeting can now be done remotely, you may not have to appear in person very often.
If you've worked hard to navigate bankruptcy, your case would be negatively impacted by a change, or you are years into a repayment plan, investing a little more in travel could be a small price.
Where to Learn More
If you believe you'll have to move during a bankruptcy case, start by learning more about these options. Meet with a bankruptcy attorney in your state before making any decisions. The result will be the best choice you can make and the most successful.
Contact a bankruptcy attorney to learn more.