Bankruptcy Guide

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Protecting Your Constitutional Rights in US Bankruptcy Court


The US bankruptcy court is a federal court that administers the bankruptcy code. The USA Constitution authorizes Congress to create bankruptcy laws that are uniform, and a major law was passed in 1978. This uniform set of laws that were created were called the Bankruptcy Code. Naturally the laws have been changed or amended over the years, and the newest bankruptcy laws were enacted in October 2007.

Like any government institution, the US bankruptcy court has many codified procedures it must follow. The procedures are called Bankruptcy Rules and that is where you will find the rules related to handling individual and business debts. The rules are complex and cover a variety of different kinds of bankruptcies. But even with 6 types of bankruptcies called “chapters”, each bankruptcy is unique in its own way. That is why you should let an attorney handle your bankruptcy so that all of your rights are protected and you are assured of getting the best bankruptcy filing possible for your situation.

The US bankruptcy court will probably never be seen by most people filing a chapter 7 or chapter 13. In order to keep the court dockets cleared for more complicated cases and to prevent case backlogs, the court appoints a trustee to each bankruptcy case. The court has a bankruptcy judge who works for the district court system, but odds are you will only work with the trustee and your attorney. In fact, many times chapter 11 and chapter 12 cases are held outside the court too.

Of course, a creditor is given an opportunity to object to the discharge of the debt owed. In the case of chapter 7, most of the time the creditor who shows up at the trustee hearing represents the mortgage company. If you don’t have a house then there’s a good chance you will not hear any objections from creditors.

If you file a business bankruptcy and have creditors who want to take issue with your repayment plan then you might have to go to court. Also, a judge determines whether you will be allowed to file a chapter 7 or 13 in individual bankruptcy. If you are told you have to file a chapter 13, but are not happy with that decision, then you can appeal to the court by proving you have special circumstances that justify the chapter 7 filing.

Many individual bankruptcy filings are actually quite simple, but not all of them. The US bankruptcy court has all of the decision making power, but the goal is to give you a fresh start and free from as much debt as allowed under the law. Though you many not want to file bankruptcy, it is a good thing the US Constitution recognized that people can incur debt that gets out of hand. As a result of our forefather’s vision and understanding of human nature, you can find debt relief in a number of ways.