signing document

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy - Who can file?

Any human, who resides, is domiciled, has property or a place of business in the United States, may file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court as long as:

1. he or she was not a debtor in a bankruptcy case that was dismissed within 180 days prior to the filing date for “willful failure” to abide by orders of the court or to appear before the court in proper prosecution of the case. (didn’t cooperate)

2. he or she did not request and obtain a voluntary dismissal of a bankruptcy case following the filing of a request for relief from the automatic stay.

The bankruptcy filer does not have to be:

1. Insolvent – This means that they can have more assets than debts
2. A U.S. legal citizen
3. Physically residing in the U.S.

4. The actual person needing the benefit of bankruptcy
An attorney or a relative may be able to file a petition as a “next friend” to the debtor. A legally appointed guardian can file the petition for someone else as well. A bankruptcy may also be filed for an incompetent person pursuant to a very broad and valid power of attorney. A conservator may be able to file under certain circumstances.

5. Alive – (well sort of)

If a debtor files the case and then passes away, the case can typically continue. Federal rule of Bankruptcy procedure 1016 provides that the death of the debtor shall not abate a chapter 7 case.