365 Day 163*

Undocumented Workers and Bankruptcy

The bankruptcy code does not restrict who can file bankruptcy based on their citizenship status in this country. When a debtor files bankruptcy they will be asked to provide information such as an address and a social security number, bank account numbers etc.  The mistake that some undocumented workers make when filing bankruptcy is using a false social security number or even worse, using someone else’s social security number.  Yes, the bankruptcy documents request a social security number; but you should never make one up or use someone else’s number.  If you do not have a social security number, just state that fact on the bankruptcy form.  If you have a tax identification number, then provide that to the bankruptcy court.

Below are a few tips for undocumented workers considering bankruptcy:

  1. Never use a false social security number or the social security number of someone else, even if you don’t have a social security number of your own.
  2. Do not provide any false information to your bankruptcy attorney or the bankruptcy court. Lying to the bankruptcy court can result in a charge of bankruptcy fraud which carries a prison term.
  3. File your taxes but don’t use a fake social security number to do so.  Contact the IRS to find out how you can get a tax identification number.  Once you receive your tax identification number, use it to file taxes which will be required for your bankruptcy filing.
  4. Don’t make any assumptions about the bankruptcy process as it concerns illegal and undocumented workers.  Take the time to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney so they can help you through the bankruptcy process.