bankruptcy citizenship

bankruptcy citizenship

Can I file Bankruptcy if I am not a U.S. Citizen?   YES

Can I file Bankruptcy if I am not a Legal Resident of the U.S.?  YES

If I am not a legal resident and I file bankruptcy, should I use the Social Security Number that I purchased years ago?   NO

If I am not a legal resident, but I have a TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number) should I use the TIN instead of a Social Security Number:  YES

What are the risks of filing bankruptcy if I am not a U.S. Citizen and/or not a legal resident of the U.S.?

  1. Deportation
  2. Charges of Bankruptcy Fraud because of use of Social Security Number owned by someone else or a deceased person.
  3. Charges of Tax Evasion for non-filing of taxes even though income is known to exist.


The bankruptcy code specifically grants to every occupant of United States Soil the opportunity to avail themselves of the bankruptcy just as any visitor to the United States avails themselves of the laws of the United States.  However, filing a bankruptcy means that the Social Security Number, Your Name, Your Address and Taxpayer Identification Number come to surface in a public way.  So, if you are someone that Homeland Security wants to deport for a crime, you probably shouldn’t file; if you are someone who has never filed taxes, you probably shouldn’t file; if you have used a fake social security number for taking out any of the credit listed in your bankruptcy – you probably shouldn’t file.

Who files bankruptcy then?  The typical non-citizen, non-legal resident filer is someone who is either a migrant laborer or full time year round worker who works at a job where taxes are taken out under a TIN and files taxes every year and may even get a tax refund.  This is a person who by law should not be in the country but under our immigration system is “permitted” to remain because they aren’t considered much of a problem to our government.  Typically, a filer will not have taken any credit out under a fake social security number and if they have a mortgage and own land have either done it with their TIN or purchased long ago and didn’t need to provide this information at the time.

While deportation is extremely rare, any filer with a past felony or criminal record should probably avoid a filing until they because a legal resident at least.

This area of the law is not black and white because the bankruptcy code grants to “anyone who avails themselves of United States Laws the privilege of bankruptcy” but does not go on to protect filers from prosecution for being in the country illegally, not filing taxes or other immigration issues.

Therefore, this gray area of the bankruptcy law will continue to be gray and murky with attorneys giving only guidance but not hard advisement on whether a client SHOULD file, but simply whether they CAN file and also what the risks are.

For more information about bankruptcy, call 877-GO-GO-NLO (877-464-6656) or email the office at

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. CALL 877-GO-GO-NLO (877-464-6656) FOR A FREE BANKRUPTCY CONSULTATION TODAY! SATURDAY APPOINTMENTS ARE AVAILABLE.