If your terrified at the thought of facing Bankruptcy, you
should look into contacting a Bankruptcy Lawyer. The reality is that
bankruptcy can mean a chance for a financial fresh start and it can also mean
the end of harassing collection agencies and credit card lawsuits. Choose from
the list of Bankruptcy Lawyers below to find out if Bankruptcy is right for you
and get all the facts.
Here is some initial information on Bankruptcy to consider
before deciding how to proceed:
Article I, Section 8, of the United States Constitution
authorizes Congress to enact “uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies.”
Under this grant of authority, Congress enacted the “Bankruptcy Code” in 1978.
The Bankruptcy Code, which is codified as title 11 of the United States Code,
has been amended several times since its enactment. It is the uniform federal
law that governs all bankruptcy cases. The procedural aspects of the bankruptcy
process are governed by the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (often called
the “Bankruptcy Rules”) and local rules of each bankruptcy court. The Bankruptcy
Rules contain a set of official forms for use in bankruptcy cases. The
Bankruptcy Code and Bankruptcy Rules (and local rules) set forth the formal
legal procedures for dealing with the debt problems of individuals and
There is a bankruptcy court for each judicial district in the country. Each
state has one or more districts. There are 90 bankruptcy districts across the
country. The bankruptcy courts generally have their own clerk’s offices.
The court official with decision-making power over federal bankruptcy cases is
the United States bankruptcy judge, a judicial officer of the United States
district court. The bankruptcy judge may decide any matter connected with a
bankruptcy case, such as eligibility to file or whether a debtor should receive
a discharge of debts.
A great deal of the bankruptcy process is administrative, however, and is
conducted away from the courthouse. In cases under chapters 7, 12, or 13, and
sometimes in chapter 11 cases, this administrative process is carried out by a
trustee who is appointed to oversee the case. A debtor’s involvement with the
bankruptcy judge is usually very limited. A typical chapter 7 debtor will not
appear in court and will not see the bankruptcy judge unless an objection is
raised in the case. A chapter 13 debtor may only have to appear before the
bankruptcy judge at a plan confirmation hearing. Usually, the only formal
proceeding at which a debtor must appear is the meeting of creditors, which is
usually held at the offices of the U.S. trustee. This meeting is informally
called a “341 meeting” because section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code requires that
the debtor attend this meeting so that creditors can question the debtor about
debts and property.
A primary goal of the federal bankruptcy laws enacted by Congress is to give
debtors a financial “fresh start” from burdensome debts.
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