I think we have put the cart before the horse. Before talking about what options you have, you first need to figure out what jurisdiction (U.S. or Canada) will apply since what happens if you file bankruptcy in Canada may differ from what will happen if you file bankruptcy in the U.S.
First of all, you can only file bankruptcy in the United States if you reside or have a domicile, a place of business, or property in the United States, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 109, HERE
. If you do not meet any of these criteria, you will have to file bankruptcy in Canada.
Since you have real estate in Florida, I assume you would qualify to file bankruptcy in the U.S. in the district in Florida in which your real estate is located.
However, since you live in Canada you probably also qualify to file there.
So, you may need to talk to Debra again to see what will happen if you file in Canada, so you can compare and contrast that result with what will happen if you file in the U.S. so you can choose the lesser of two evils.
If you file in the U.S., you will probably have to file in Florida since 28 U.S.C. 1408, HERE
, probably compels a Florida filing.
When you file bankruptcy in Florida, you are only allowed to protect assets which the State of Florida deems exempt, HERE
, and any other assets (even those in Canada) can be sold by the trustee
to pay creditors.
So, you may want to contact some attorneys in the area of your real estate in Florida to see what costs are involved, and take note of how much property you get to protect under Florida's exemption laws.
Then, contact an attorney in Canada and see what costs are involved, and take note of how much property you can keep if you file in Canada.
Then, like I said - select the lesser of two evils.
One glitchy thing to know about is some States won't let a person use that State's exemptions unless that person is a resident. I haven't found this language in the Florida statutes, but that doesn't mean it's not there somewhere... So, when you talk to an attorney in Florida to get a price quote, ask them if Florida's exemptions will apply even though you are not a Florida resident.
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