U.S. Bankruptcy Code - Filing Bankruptcy Laws
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United States Bankruptcy Code - Your Guide to Filing Bankruptcy

Title 11 of the United States code is the collection of laws that sets the rules for discharging or reorganizing debts in bankruptcy.

The Bankruptcy Code is the complete set of federal laws that govern personal, corporate, municipal and other bankruptcy filings in the United States. Each state has additional laws that affect the filing process within its courts.

While understanding the laws contained within the bankruptcy code may seem complex, exercising the rights that the code gives you can be simple. Connect with an attorney in your area today to see if you might qualify for bankruptcy protections. Simply fill out the form below to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation.


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Understanding the Bankruptcy Code: Section by Section

Chapter 1 - General Provisions

The first chapter of the bankruptcy code establishes the ground rules for filing bankruptcy, including definitions of terms, powers of the court, who may be a debtor and penalties for committing bankruptcy fraud.

Chapter 3 - Case Administration

The next chapter outlines how a bankruptcy case is handled by the court, including whether the case is filed voluntarily (by the debtor) or involuntarily (by a creditor), the role of the U.S. trustee, and reporting requirements of the debtor.

Chapter 3 also establishes that married couples may file jointly if they desire, but are not required to do so.

Chapter 5 - Creditors, the Debtor, and the Estate

Chapter 5 of the Bankruptcy code is divided into three sub-chapters, covering the roles and responsibilities of Creditors and the Debtor, as well as the creation of the bankruptcy estate. The estate is all assets and property of the debtor at the time of the bankruptcy filing. This chapter also establishes the benefit of exemptions--property of value that the debtor may choose not to include in the estate, and is instead protected from creditors by law.

Chapter 7 - Liquidation

The chapter establishes the procedure of liquidation in bankruptcy, which is why this form of bankruptcy is commonly referred to as Chapter 7. Under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, which is available to individuals and corporations, many types of debt can be completely shed off, in exchange for some or all of the property of the bankruptcy estate being sold off to pay creditors. This chapter sets forth eligibility for and the process of liquidation.

Chapter 7 also covers the liquidation processes of stock brokers, commodity brokers and clearing banks.

Chapter 9 - Adjustment of Debts of a Municipality

Chapter 9 outlines the process of reorganization for municipalities. This form of bankruptcy is available only to governmental units. This form of bankruptcy is unique, as states are able to permit or allow Chapter 9 filings as they see fit due to the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.

Chapter 11 - Reorganization

This chapter lays out the reorganization of debts for corporations and other businesses.

Chapter 12 - Adjustment of Debts of a Family Farmer or Fisherman with Regular Annual Income

Chapter 12 of the bankruptcy code deals with reorganization of debts for those whose trade is farming or fishing. Chapter 12 works similarly to Chapter 13 reorganization, with debts repaid through future earnings via a structured plan, but with special provisions for those in these industries.

Chapter 13 - Adjustment of Debts of an Individual with Regular Income

This chapter of the bankruptcy code outlines reorganization and repayment of debts for individuals who are not farmers or fishers. Chapter 13 covers all the specifics of the plan, including priority of creditors, the confirmation hearing, and the debt discharge.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings are typically the second-most popular type of personal bankruptcy, following filings under Chapter 7.


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Chapter 15 - Ancillary and other Cross-Border Cases

Chapter 15, the final chapter under Title 11 of the U.S. Code, concerns debtors, typically corporations, who may have debts or assets that are subject to foreign courts.

Filing Under the Bankruptcy Code

Bankruptcies filed under Title 11 of the U.S. Code can provide you with a fresh start free from debt. To learn how to apply these laws to your situation, you can connect with a bankruptcy attorney in your area.

Simply fill out the case review form below to arrange a free, no-obligation bankruptcy consultation today.


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