Undocumented Immigrants Can File Bankruptcy. Does that surprise you? It shouldn’t. Areas like Los Angeles have large populations of undocumented individuals. Many undocumented persons obtain and use credit. There is nothing contained in the bankruptcy law that limits it to citizens and to legal residents. That means Undocumented Immigrants Can File Bankruptcy. However, there are special considerations for undocumented persons to be aware of.
A bankruptcy filing requires the disclosure of all Social Security and Tax ID numbers that have been used. The IRS will give a Tax ID Number to anyone who wants one, regardless of immigration status. However a Social Security Number is available only for citizens and legal residents. The trouble comes from using a false Social Security Number. Many undocumented persons are tempted to use a false Social Security Number. The use of a Social Security Number is necessary to obtain public benefits. For example, Section 8 housing assistance. The use of a false Social Security number might make it easier for an undocumented person to obtain credit or buy property. But using a false Social Security number could give you trouble.
The reason why is because it is a criminal act if you use a false Social Security Number. The bankruptcy court checks the Social Security number of all bankruptcy filers. If you list a false number and failed to disclose it as false in your bankruptcy papers, then your bankruptcy papers are wrong. That may lead to the denial of a bankruptcy. It could also result in a referral from the bankruptcy to the U.S. Attorney for a criminal investigation. The use of a false number can also bring trouble later on when applying for legal residency or citizenship.
Undocumented Immigrants Can File Bankruptcy. But the case must be carefully prepared.
So, what do you do? For one thing, list your false number, and disclose that it is a false number. The bankruptcy courts have become very tolerant of this. The court is usually more concerned with the accuracy of your bankruptcy papers. In Los Angeles, the court system also will expect you to file and serve all creditors with special notices. These notices should establish that your number is false. The disclosure of each addresses where you have lived during the last 2 years. And a proof of service showing that this was mailed to each creditor.
Where to get legal help so that Undocumented Immigrants Can File Bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy is a complicated legal case for everyone. If you are undocumented, it is even more complicated. Obtain representation from a lawyer who is a specialist in bankruptcy. Do not go to a tax preparer, notario, or paralegal. Get a real lawyer. You have a lot at stake. You need your case done correctly. Do not harm your chances by getting help from a person who is not a trained, educated and licensed attorney at law.