A common question we are asked by people living in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and surrounding counties is whether they can leave the state after filing for bankruptcy..
The answer is that there is no requirement that a debtor remain physically present in New York continuously after filing for bankruptcy until his or her case is closed. The debtor (person filing bankruptcy) will be required to attend the meeting of creditors in his or her case that is held approximately 30 days after the case is filed. In a chapter 13 case he or she will also be required to attend the confirmation hearing with respect to the chapter 13 plan held approximately four months after the case is filed. In a chapter 11 case there are various status conferences that the debtor may need to attend.
In addition, relocating to another state — particularly a state that has a lower cost of living than New York — could have an effect on the debtor’s monthly budget filed in the case. Particularly in a chapter 13 case this may require a debtor to amend his or her chapter 13 plan prior to confirmation if the debtor has more money left over at the end of the month to pay creditors than when he or she was living in New York.
Finally, when a debtor moves during a bankruptcy case he or she needs to notify the Bankruptcy Court and the chapter 7 trustee of his or her new address. There is a change of address form that can be obtained from the Clerk’s Office for this.