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What is Bankruptcy? Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding afforded to people (or businesses) who are unable to handle a financial crisis. Bankruptcy is made available by federal law so that you can have a fresh start. How Does Bankruptcy Work? After an individual qualifies and files a bankruptcy, legal protections are then instilled by the...
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Chapter 13 is an interest-free repayment plan that allows you to combine your debts and repay all or part of them while protecting you from creditor harassment. It is an excellent alternative for debtors whose financial problems cannot be helped by a Chapter 7 filing. Chapter 13 often provides much greater protection to debtors who own significant assets...
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Background A case filed under chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code is frequently referred to as a “reorganization” bankruptcy. An individual cannot file under chapter 11 or any other chapter if, during the preceding 180 days, a prior bankruptcy petition was dismissed due to the debtor’s willful failure to appear before the court...
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Background A chapter 13 bankruptcy is also called a wage earner’s plan. It enables individuals with regular income to develop a plan to repay all or part of their debts. Under this chapter, debtors propose a repayment plan to make installments to creditors over three to five years. If the debtor’s current monthly income is...
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The first municipal bankruptcy legislation was enacted in 1934 during the Great Depression. Pub. L. No. 251, 48 Stat. 798 (1934). Although Congress took care to draft the legislation so as not to interfere with the sovereign powers of the states guaranteed by the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, the Supreme Court held the 1934...
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Alternatives to Chapter 7 Debtors should be aware that there are several alternatives to chapter 7 relief. For example, debtors who are engaged in business, including corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships, may prefer to remain in business and avoid liquidation. Such debtors should consider filing a petition under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Under...
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Court Structure (SOURCE) The Federal Court System The State Court System Article III of the Constitution invests the judicial power of the United States in the federal court system. Article III, Section 1 specifically creates the U.S. Supreme Court and gives Congress the authority to create the lower federal courts. The Constitution and laws of...
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The federal judiciary operates separately from the executive and legislative branches, but often works with them as the Constitution requires. Federal laws are passed by Congress and signed by the President. The judicial branch decides the constitutionality of federal laws and resolves other disputes about federal laws. However, judges depend on our government’s executive branch...
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Access for All A person who wishes to observe a court in session may check the court calendar online or at the courthouse and watch a proceeding. Our Constitution and court tradition give citizens right of access to court proceedings. Citizens gain confidence in the courts by seeing judicial work in action, and learn first-hand...
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Jury Service U.S. citizens at least 18 years of age may be called to jury service, one of the most important ways individual citizens become involved with the federal courts. Learn more about jury service and what to do if you were summoned to federal jury service. Court Cases Federal courts have jurisdiction over cases...
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