Finding out what bankruptcy district you are in is pretty simple. We just need to look in the right place. Bankruptcy is a federal court proceeding. You will need to look for the federal court district for where you live. In the state of Florida, we have three federal districts – the Northern District of Florida, the Middle District of Florida, and the Southern District of Florida. You will need to file bankruptcy in the district in which you have lived for the last 180 days. In St. Petersburg (Pinellas County), we are in the Middle District of Florida.
Once you know which district you will file in, you want to determine which division you will be assigned to. In the Middle District of Florida, we have four divisions: Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, and Fort Myers. Your zip code will determine which division your case will be assigned to. If you live outside of the Middle District of Florida, you can go to the website for your district’s bankruptcy court and find the counties each division covers. Most bankruptcy courts will have the same type of breakdown of divisions as Florida does.
Once you know what division your zip code is assigned to, you will know which district and division your case should be filed in. This will allow you to avoid any unnecessary problems that can happen if you file in the wrong district or division. Problems that could arise if you filed in the wrong district or division include a motion to dismiss filed by your bankruptcy trustee or a review/audit of your case by the United States Trustee. These problems could require an attorney to file additional documents which are often not covered by flat fees for bankruptcy if you did not provide correct information or if you filed without a lawyer. Most attorneys can fix problems with your bankruptcy filings however, it is often more expensive to fix a mistake than to do it correctly the first time.