I ran successful family building and development business for many years in Hawaii. Left company to others to manage as I transitioned to retirement in the Dominican Republic. We owned several parcels of raw land in various stages of development. In last few years, the properties dropped in value over 50% and the banks required us to liquidate all holdings. We reached agreements with most of the banks regarding a program to sell the properties and write down any shortfalls. One of the smaller banks is telling us we will be responsible for a portion of any shortfall but for the most part the process has played out without requiring bankruptcy. However, while I was showing a significant net worth, I signed a personal guarantee for a friend in a California shopping center and he defaulted on the lease. They have lawyered up and are coming after me. I used my retirement fund to help to pay off our building trade debts and am now living on social security. I cannot afford legal representation so am representing myself in the legal action and am not sure that I can afford to take the case to trial. I am considering bankruptcy.
I know that if I file bankruptcy in the US, that the law varies from state to state. However, what law governs a bankruptcy filed by an expatirate who is a resident of the Dominican Republic?
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