Federal Courts and Bankruptcy Filings
There are of course many issues handled by the federal courts,
including bankruptcy filings. It is important for anyone working with a
bankruptcy or considering a bankruptcy filing to understand the role
federal courts have to play in the process.
It is important to know, for instance, that an individual is not able to
file for bankruptcy protection through the state court system, since the
jurisdiction for bankruptcy filings is maintained at the federal level.
It is also important to know that there are fees charged for bankruptcy
filings, and that those fees vary according to the chapter under which
the bankruptcy is to be filed. For those who need it, instalment plans
of up to 120 days can be arranged to make payment of those fees easier
The specific rules for filing bankruptcy will be unique to each judicial
district around the country. In the United States there are 90 formal
federal court districts which accept bankruptcy filings, with the
overall power of the court vested with the bankruptcy judge.
It is important for those contemplating a bankruptcy filing to know that
in most cases a chapter 7 bankruptcy filing will require no direct
interaction with the bankruptcy judge, while those filing for a chapter
13 bankruptcy will generally need to appear before a bankruptcy judge
during the confirmation process for the official repayment plan.
It is also important to keep in mind that those individuals applying for
bankruptcy will be required to attend a meeting with all the creditors
to whom they owe money. At this meeting the individual will need to
answer questions relating to the assets and property that they currently
own. These meetings are known as 341 meetings, after the section of the
bankruptcy law that requires the meetings and details the rules which
Those individuals who are considering filing bankruptcy in federal court
should also be prepared for the large amount of paperwork that typically
must be completed. The actual form required for a bankruptcy filing runs
some 20 pages, and it requires the filer to provide the federal court
with detailed information related to their income, living expenses,
property owned, assets, liabilities and other financial information. The
form also requires information related to financial transactions that
have taken place in the recent past. The good news is that this form is
often available at office supply stores, and it is often available on
the internet as well. Having the form in front of you can give you the
chance to review the form and ensure that you have gathered all the
information that is required.
After the form has been completed, the bankruptcy petition needs to be
filed with the local bankruptcy court for the district where the
individual lives. The petitioner will also be required to submit any
documentation which pertains to any previous bankruptcy filings.
There is no doubt that filing for bankruptcy is a serious matter, and it
is important for individuals to see it as such. Bankruptcy should never
be thought of as a quick fix for a temporary problem, and it is
important that those considering such drastic measures have thoroughly
examined all other options at their disposal.
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