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Bankruptcy Law: Bankruptcy Law

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The Federal Courts website provides information about bankruptcy, including a forms section

The Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure are available on Cornell's Legal Information Institute site.

The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) addresses frequently asked questions for investors regarding corporate bankruptcy.


Introduction to Bankruptcy Law

Bankruptcy laws help people who can no longer pay their creditors get a fresh start by creating a repayment plan or by liquidating assets to pay their debts. Bankruptcy laws also protect troubled businesses and provide for orderly distributions to business creditors through reorganization or liquidation.

Federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over bankruptcy cases. This means that a bankruptcy case cannot be filed in a state court. Most cases are filed under these three chapters of the Bankruptcy Code:

Chapter 7  -- Liquidation

Chapter 11 -- Reorganization

Chapter 13  -- Individual Debt Adjustment

Legislative History of Major Bankruptcy Reform Acts

Bankruptcy Revision Title 11 U.S.C. Pub. L. 95-598, Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2549

Bankruptcy Amendments and Federal Judgeship Act of 1984 Pub. L. 98-353, July 10, 1984, 98 Stat. 333

Bankruptcy Judges, United States Trustees, and Family Farmer Bankruptcy Act of 1986 Pub. L. 99-554, Oct. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3088

Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1994 Pub. L. 103-394, Oct. 22, 1994, 108 Stat. 4106

Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention & Consumer Protection Act Pub. L. 109-8, April 20, 2005, 119 Stat. 23

     Note: The Bankruptcy Code applies to cases filed after October 1, 1979.