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Related videosHow To File Bankruptcy: The Series - Part 9
The Bankruptcy Code and Bankruptcy Rules and local rules set forth the formal legal procedures for dealing with the debt problems of individuals and businesses. 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.
Much 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. This meeting is informally called a " meeting" because section of the Bankruptcy Code requires that the debtor attend this meeting so that creditors can question the debtor about debts and property.
A fundamental goal of the federal bankruptcy laws enacted by Congress is to give debtors a financial "fresh start" from burdensome debts. The Supreme Court made this point about the purpose of the bankruptcy law in a decision:. Local Loan Co. Hunt , U. This goal is accomplished through the bankruptcy discharge, which releases debtors from personal liability from specific debts and prohibits creditors from ever taking any action against the debtor to collect those debts.
This publication describes the bankruptcy discharge in a question and answer format, discussing the timing of the discharge, the scope of the discharge what debts are discharged and what debts are not discharged , objections to discharge, and revocation of the discharge. It also describes what a debtor can do if a creditor attempts to collect a discharged debt after the bankruptcy case is concluded. Six basic types of bankruptcy cases are provided for under the Bankruptcy Code, each of which is discussed in this publication.
The cases are traditionally given the names of the chapters that describe them. Chapter 7 , entitled Liquidation, contemplates an orderly, court-supervised procedure by which a trustee takes over the assets of the debtor's estate, reduces them to cash, and makes distributions to creditors, subject to the debtor's right to retain certain exempt property and the rights of secured creditors. Because there is usually little or no nonexempt property in most chapter 7 cases, there may not be an actual liquidation of the debtor's assets.
These cases are called "no-asset cases. In most chapter 7 cases, if the debtor is an individual, he or she receives a discharge that releases him or her from personal liability for certain dischargeable debts. The debtor normally receives a discharge just a few months after the petition is filed.
Amendments to the Bankruptcy Code enacted in to the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of require the application of a "means test" to determine whether individual consumer debtors qualify for relief under chapter 7.
If such a debtor's income is in excess of certain thresholds, the debtor may not be eligible for chapter 7 relief. Chapter 9 , entitled Adjustment of Debts of a Municipality, provides essentially for reorganization, much like a reorganization under chapter Only a "municipality" may file under chapter 9, which includes cities and towns, as well as villages, counties, taxing districts, municipal utilities, and school districts. Whether you're looking to support cash flow, grow your business or purchase new equipment, BankSA may have a business loan option for you.
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Learn more. Debt Consolidation. George Westpac View more brands. I Want a loan for a boat a new pool to get married a new motorbike a renovation loan cosmetic surgery dental work medical procedures a loan for a jet ski loan pre-approval to learn about my options to get out of debt a new dog a loan for a holiday. Calculators Personal Loan Calculator Calculate how much you could borrow with a personal loan. Sign me up! Part 9 Debt Agreements vs bankruptcy What's the difference between the two and which option is right for you?
Updated Feb 18, Learn more about how we fact check. Part 9 Debt Agreements and bankruptcy: What are they? What are the differences between the Part 9 Debt Agreements and bankruptcy? There are a number of differences between debt agreements and bankruptcy: Part 9 Debt Agreements Bankruptcy Eligibility You're unable to pay your debts when they are due. You haven't been bankrupt, had a debt agreement or a personal insolvency agreement in the last ten years.
You're unable to pay your debts when they are due. You're present in Australia, or have a residential or business connection to Australia. How long it lasts Details of your debt agreement can appear on a credit reporting agency's records for up to five years or longer. Bankruptcy normally lasts three years and one day but a trustee can extend it as long as eight years. Credit reporting agencies keep a record of your bankruptcy for five years from the date you became bankrupt or two years from when your bankruptcy ends, whichever is later.
Your secured assets You must inform secured creditors of your intention with the debts. If you don't maintain payments on secured loans your secured assets can be repossessed. Your trustee can sell your vehicles, house, tools of trade and assets you jointly own with your partner if their value falls below a set amount. Your ability to obtain credit Your debt agreement can appear on your credit report for up to five years, or longer in some cases.
Your bankruptcy remains on your credit file for five years from the date you become bankrupt or two years from the date your bankruptcy ends, whichever is later. Your business You must disclose your debt agreement to people you conduct business with if you trade under a business name that isn't your own. You cannot be director of a company and there may be restrictions if you run your own business.