BANKRUPTCY AND IMMIGRATION, Frequently Asked Questions

–Do I have to be a US citizen to file for bankruptcy?

No, you don't have to be. You can either be a green card holder or a US citizen to file for bankruptcy.

–Is US bankruptcy effective against creditors outside of the United States?


–Would filling bankruptcy affect my Green Card or Citizenship or Visa?

Not specifically.

–How would filing bankruptcy affect my immigration status?

If it falls under the category of “Good Moral Character” and its proven that you filing bankruptcy is not a genuine forgiveness of debts for the second chance.

–What are the examples of bankruptcy that is not allowed under the law?

The followings are some of the common instances:

  1. Unpaid Taxes, depending on the date

  2. Alimony and child support.

  3. Malicious and willful injury to another person or property. In Chapter 13, this applies only to injury persons—debts for property damage may be discharged.

  4. Debts though death or personal injury caused by Driving Under Influence or while intoxicated

  5. Debts failed to be listed in bankruptcy filing.

–What are the examples of bankruptcy mistakes, errors or criminal conducts that would affect a citizenship or green card?

  1. Bankruptcy filed to support lavish lifestyle

  2. Bankruptcy filed while hiding assets—providing false financial statements.

  3. Lying under oath—perjury.

  4. bankruptcy crimes listed under § 152 : making a false oath or account, making a false declaration under penalty of perjury, presenting a false claim, receiving property with the intent to defeat the provisions of Title 11, bribery, transferring or concealing property, destroying or tampering with evidence…

  5. Overall crimes related to bankruptcy fraud

What is Bankruptcy fraud and how it happens?

Bankruptcy fraud is a white-collar crime and can be a conviction along with other crimes and it commonly happens as follow

  1. Concealment of assets

  2. Filing false or incomplete forms—perjury

  3. Filling under false identity

  4. Multiple filings in multiple jurisdictions

  5. Bribing a court-appointed trustee

  6. It can happen with identity theft, public corruption, money laundering, fraud, etc.

Note: Perpetrator can be charged criminally for suspected bankruptcy fraud or attempt to bankruptcy fraud and win upon proof that the defendant knowingly and fraudulently misrepresented a material fact (18 U.S.C. Chapter 9).This cold carry a sentence of up to 5 years in prison and/or fine up to $250,000.

Note: Filing Bankruptcy alone is not a reason to consider a Citizenship applicant to be “Not in Good Moral Character”.

Note: approximately 1 in 250 bankruptcy cases are subject to audit.

It is advisable to seek legal guidance from our office today as we strive to help guide you with your specific case. 

Attorney Ramona Kennedy cares about your case and will fight for you.

You can contact attorney Ramona Kennedy Law Offices (Kennedy Law LC) for an initial consultation and case evaluation. The first consultation is free of charge. 

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