Wiley, No. 4:10-bk-40808-EWH (Bankr. D. Ariz., June 3, 2011).
Wherever you decide to file for bankruptcy, that location is presumed to be the right one until it is successfully challenged by a creditor or the trustee in your case, whose job it is to administer your estate. However, once challenged, there is a rule for where to file. You can file where you were living, doing business, of kept most of your property for the 180 days before you file your petition. This means that you can actually have multiple places to file for bankruptcy at one time, if you have property in one state, do business in another, and lived in another.
Robert and Teresa Wiley had this very problem. They had been married and living together in Reno, Nevada. When they divorced, they both left their home in Reno. Robert moved to Tucson, Arizona, and Teresa moved to Krum, Texas. They filed for bankruptcy together in Tucson. Robert claimed that they could file in Tucson, Reno, or Krum, because they lived in Krum and Tucson and had their home still in Reno.
The court disagreed with Robert, because he had only lived in Tucson for 112 days before filing. The limit was 180 days. Their case was thrown out, and they were instructed to file in Nevada.
To see the case summary for In re: Wiley please see here.
Unfortunately little nuances like this can happen in bankruptcy. Bankruptcy rulings can be unpredictable but your best bet is to consult with a competent bankruptcy attorney before moving forward with bankruptcy to ensure that your case is being handled properly.
Stephen M. Trezza