Jump To Navigation

Illegal Immigrants May File For Bankruptcy

Many of us are facing financial difficulty, and for immigrants the situation is often worse.  Reports estimate that there are somewhere between 7 and 20 million illegal immigrants in the United States.  One area of the law where an immigrant’s rights often come into question is bankruptcy. Do non-citizens, or illegal immigrants have the right to file bankruptcy?

The short answer is maybe.  The Bankruptcy Code determines who may be a “debtor,” and therefore file a petition for bankruptcy.  The Bankruptcy Code pronounces clearly that “…only a person that resides or has a domicile, a place of business, or property in the United States, or a municipality, may be a debtor under this title” [11 U.S.C. Section 109(a)].  The term “person” incorporates individual, partnership, and corporation… [11 U.S.C. Section 101(a)(41)].  The bottom line is there is no requirement of citizenship in the bankruptcy code.

Therefore, non-citizens and even illegal immigrants MAY file bankruptcy assuming they can present the appropriate identification to the bankruptcy trustee, including a valid social security card or an individual taxpayer identification number. Thus, if you are an illegal immigrant you must have paid federal income taxes in order to file with the Bankruptcy Court, or have a valid TIN issued by the federal government.   It is tempting to use a false identification to file, but that may lead to a denial of bankruptcy relief, as well as the bringing of criminal charges.  Note that if criminal charges are brought against you as an illegal alien, or as a lawful permanent resident, you may be deported.  In any case, contact an Arizona bankruptcy attorney to make sure that you can legally file bankruptcy despite being in the United States illegally.


Read more about our bankruptcy services…

Contact Us for a Free Consultation
Office Locations

Phoenix Office
Wright Law Offices
668 N. 44th St., Ste 320
Phoenix AZ 85008

Telephone: 602-456-6085 / 866-703-3287
Phoenix Law Office

Scottsdale Office
Wright Law Offices
7135 East Camelback Road, Ste 230
Scottsdale AZ 85251

Telephone: 480-845-0145 / 866-703-3287
Scottsdale Law Office

Tempe Office
Wright Law Offices
2238 S. McClintock Dr.
Tempe AZ 85258

Telephone: 480-845-0145 / 866-703-3287
Tempe Law Office

Avondale Office
Wright Law Offices
12725 W Indian School Rd, Suite E-101
Avondale AZ 85392

Telephone: 623-258-4480 / 866-703-3287
Avondale Law Office

Prescott Office
Wright Law Offices
1129 Iron Springs Rd
Prescott AZ 86305

Telephone: 623-258-4480 / 866-703-3287
Prescott Law Office

Mesa Office
Wright Law Offices

1731 W. Baseline Rd.
Suite #100
Mesa, AZ 85202
Telephone: 480-845-0145 / 866-703-3287
Mesa Law Office

Glendale Office
Wright Law Offices
20325 N. 51st Ave., Suite 134
Glendale, AZ 85308
Telephone: 623-258-4480 / 866-703-3287
Glendale Law OFfice

Facebook IconTwitter IconVisit Us On Google+Visit Us On Google+