Does Bankruptcy Protection Apply To Immigrants In Ohio?

Bankruptcy Attorney

A common question often heard by bankruptcy attorneys concerns immigrants who are in the USA legally. Can immigrants in Ohio legally file for bankruptcy protection and will this step affect the status of their immigration? United States citizenship is not a requirement under the US Bankruptcy Code, so the legal status of an immigrant is not relevant in a bankruptcy case as far as discharging debts are concerned.


Some confusion in this area comes from the fact that all of the bankruptcy forms ask for a valid social security number, which immigrants do not usually have because these numbers are only provided to citizens of the USA. There are other options for these spaces but many immigrants are not aware of these options. A tax ID number, provided to immigrants who work and pay taxes but who do not have a social security number, can be used in the spaces on the bankruptcy form. It is also possible to write in that a social security number is not possessed.


It is important that every question on each bankruptcy form is answered honestly and accurately. NEVER provide false information, including the use of a false social security number or the use of the SS number for anyone else. Providing false information can result in criminal charges, and this can affect your immigration status. Filing for bankruptcy is not a crime, and this step alone is not enough to affect the legal status of your immigration classification. Committing a crime by lying on the bankruptcy forms may affect your status though and could have devastating consequences. This includes crimes of moral turpitude, which bankruptcy fraud falls under, and these crimes could cause you to be deported or to have your citizenship application denied.


If you commit bankruptcy fraud then you could face criminal charges in addition to placing your immigration status in jeopardy. This includes using the Social Security number for someone else or creating a fake number for the bankruptcy forms. US citizens who commit bankruptcy fraud can go to jail and face large fines. Immigrants who commit these same crimes can face similar penalties, but in addition immigrants can be denied citizenship and even deported as well.


If you are an immigrant facing debt problems then bankruptcy can be an option, but an experienced bankruptcy attorney should be consulted as soon as possible. Small errors and innocent mistakes during the bankruptcy process can have very big consequences that can affect the legal status of an immigrant. Trying to file for bankruptcy protection without an experienced and qualified bankruptcy lawyer is a mistake, especially when your immigration status is at risk.


The bankruptcy attorneys at Richard West Law can help provide a free debt consolidation consultation for citizens and immigrants both, to help you find the right answer for your unique debt problems and circumstances. Visit or call (513)771-8700 or (937)748-1749 to get the answers you want, and the financial relief you are looking for.

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