Where Can I Find The Bankruptcy Law?

30 Oct Where Can I Find The Bankruptcy Law?

The current bankruptcy law is based on the Bankruptcy Code enacted by Congress in 1978.  It is found in Title 11 of the U.S. Code, and is supplemented by the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure.  In addition, each District has its own local rules which determine the procedures used in the bankruptcy courts in that District.

What has been called the “new bankruptcy law”, or BAPCPA, comes from the most recent amendments that Congress passed in 2005.  Many observers believe that the next Congress will make several significant changes to the “Code”.  Däna Wilkinson, for one, has been writing recently on these pages “Ten Things I’d Change About BAPCPA”.

Neither BAPCPA nor any changes made by the next Congress will change the basic structure of the Bankruptcy Code.  The Code consists of several chapters, which are:

Ch 1 – general provisions (including section 101 – definitions)

Ch 3 – case administration

Ch 5 – creditors, debtors, claims, the estate

Ch 7 – liquidation

Ch 9 – municipal bankruptcy

Ch 11 – reorganization

Ch 12 – family farmer

Ch 13 – adjustment of debts for individuals with regular income

Chapters 1, 3 & 5 apply to all chapters, whereas Chapters 7, 11, 12, 13 only apply to that particular chapter.


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Peter Orville is a bankruptcy lawyer in Binghamton, located in the Southern Tier of New York. He is a member and New York co-chair of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.
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