Personal Bankruptcy: Complicated Legal Status

Can you declare p.b. while being resident in Taiwan, yet being a citizen of another country and having all your debts in that other country? In at least some countries, you cannot declare it if you have lost your residency status, even though your debts are in those very countries. If you can declare it in Taiwan under such conditions, who do you go to for legal assistance? Thanks.

A foreigner cannot go “bankrupt” in Taiwan. There is no mechanism for you to declare bankruptcy in relation to foreign assets. (It’s actually quite hard for Taiwanese themselves to go bankrupt and be released from their debts.) But if you own a house or something in Taiwan under your own name Taiwanese creditors might be able to have your house sold. Your foreign creditors can’t do a thing. (I assume we’re not talking about tens of millions of USD here. On the other hand I know personally of a chap here who’s tens of millions of US in the hole and virtually untouchable here, having hidden his assets god-knows-where. But he’s Donald Ducked when he leaves the island.)

Can you declare PB in your own country? Dunno where you’re from. You could, in theory, if you are a UK citizen but it would be mind bogglingly expensive unless you have an address for the service of process in the UK.

If you’ve screwed the pooch back home, why not let your creditors declare you BR instead? It’ll save you thousands of pounds. Chances are, they’ll not bother, so just wait six full years, go back home, and hey presto the slate is wiped clean. See the Statute of Limitations 1980. (Assuming non-property debt. Property debt is 12 years.)

If you’re not from the UK, sorry, no idea. If you’re US/Canadian I’m sure there are websites galore to advise you.

If you are a U.S. citizen, most states will allow it. You must have a “Last Permanent Residency” and are simply in Taiwan on a work assignment. Your permanent residency remains in the U.S. at that residency. Probably an address of a relative where you receive important mail.
Simply contact a bankruptcy attorney in your last home state. Explain the situation. Most have websites. H/She will send you a questionaire regarding all your debts and assets. List them all. The F.B.I. has targeted bankruptcy fraud as a priority. Don’t hide assets but if you are over the asset limit in any area, be candid with your counsel. He will have legal ways to protect the assets, in most cases.
After all the information is received by counsel, they will draft the paperwork and send it to you for signature. Return but mail. H/She should let you know an approximate date of a “Meeting of Creditors”. This is required under the Code. Not to worry. This takes all of 5 minutes and is painless. Many states require your attendance. If so, make some quick travel plans. In some states or under severe situations, the court may waive your attendance and counsel handles it all for you. If you have non-exempt assets (depends on the state) creditors may want it divvyed up. I doubt you have any. You would be very surprised of the exemptions. Easy stuff really but don’t do it if you really don’t need to. Are you judgment proof? Probably are. Get your funds, if any, on funds left in the U.S. (talk to counsel). Creditor’s can, but will not pursue you in Taiwan. Simply too expensive unless it is a huge mult-mil debt. Basically at the M.O.C., nobody shows up, becuase they know it’s futile, the court adjorns the meeting and the time for discharge starts to run. After the time has run, you get a court “Notice of Discharge” If anybody listed in the documents pursues you after thae date of the notice, they can be held in contempt by the court. This includes Fanny May, I.R.S. (in most cases, that applies to both; and all others) Much of the non-dischargeable debt depends on how long you have owed the debt and whether you have timely filed tax returns. (Ask counsel).
Anyway, good luck. Bottom line it is possible and not that uncommon. Even if you have filed before, in the last 7 years, there options. U.K. is much different so don’t depend on U.K. advise if you are from U.S., and vice versa.

If you’re bankrupt in your own country and earning money in Taiwan then you may be technically breaking the law in your own country. Bankruptcy requires you to surrender your income for several years, depending on the country. So if you keep any money here and don’t give it to your creditors then you may be guilty of a criminal - jailable - offence which will make it hard to go home.

If, on the other hand, you’re not technically bankrupt and nobody can find you or enforce a payment order then you’re not breaking hte bankruptcy arrangement. You’re just hiding until the slate is wiped clean. Check with a lawyer, but I believe that saves you the trouble of choosing between continuing in poverty or risking jail.