Bankruptcy is a legal procedure documented in Title 11 of the United States Code (11 U.S.C. §§ 101-1330) which outlines statutes which must be followed if a person or business can not meet their financial obligations to their creditors.
Bankruptcy allows individuals and businesses who are facing insolvency to allow the Bankruptcy Court to take control of their financial affairs. It is considered a last resort for most individuals or companies who are unable to pay their bills.
The creditor is also legally barred from continuing debt collection efforts. Bankruptcy was created to allow individuals the opportunity for a "fresh financial start" and has been significantly revised throughout the years specifically in 1978 and again in 2005 with the passage of The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA). The 109th U.S. Congress passed the BAPCPA to make it more difficult for certain debtors to qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and instead force them to repay their debts by filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.
The most common bankruptcy chapters include:
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Chapter 7 Bankruptcy allows a liquidation of a debtor's non-exempt assets to quickly repay their creditors. A trustee is appointed by the court to pay creditors in priority order determined by United States bankruptcy laws.
Chapter 9 Bankruptcy: Bankruptcy which allows municipalities to reorganize their debt.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy: Similar to Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and most commonly used by businesses, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy allows individuals and businesses to reorganize the repayment of their debts.
Chapter 12 Bankruptcy: Chapter 12 Bankruptcy is similar to Chapter 13 Bankruptcy but allows family farmers and fishermen to reorganize their debt payments.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Chapter 13 Bankruptcy differs from Chapter 7 Bankruptcy because the debtor does not have to liquidate their assets but rather is allowed additional time to repay unsecured creditors by creating a bankruptcy repayment plan to restructure their debt payments and repay creditors according to a priority structure outlined in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is concluded at the end of the repayment schedule and discharges most debts with the exclusion of child support, taxes, alimony, taxes and certain fraudulent transactions.
Filing personal bankruptcy and bankruptcy laws have become increasingly complex and many bankruptcy filers have found it beneficial to seek bankruptcy help from a personal bankruptcy lawyer.
More Help on Bankruptcy
- Bankruptcy Court - United States federal courts have jurisdiction over all bankruptcy cases and the cases are not allowed to be filed in state court. - read more
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy - Chapter 13 Bankruptcy allows the debtor to create a 3 or 5 year bankruptcy repayment plan to restructure their debt payments. - read more
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy - Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a liquidation or \"straight\" bankruptcy. It is the quickest, easiest and least expensive type of bankruptcy method to discharge debts. - read more