Chapter 15 Bankruptcy. CHAPTER 15???

06 Sep Chapter 15 Bankruptcy. CHAPTER 15???

Most people are familiar with Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. Many know that corporations file Chapter 11’s. But there are three other chapters of the Bankruptcy Code that very few people are familiar with—Chapters 9, 12 and 15.


Chapter 12 is a special section that deals with bankruptcies by family farmers. Covered are not only traditional farms, but fishermen and more exotic businesses—I once filed a Chapter 12 for someone who raised llamas for sale. A Chapter 12 is similar to a cross between a Chapter 11 and a Chapter 13, but has provisions that make it a better option for farmers. It is more streamlined, less complicated, and less expensive than Chapter 11, which is better suited to large corporate reorganizations. And it has more flexibility and higher debt limits than Chapter 13. It’s a reorganization that gives farmers an opportunity to get back on their feet, reduce some debt, and pay back debt over time.

Chapter 9 is the Chapter that is used the least. If applies only to cities and municipalities who run into serious financial difficulty, and has been used very rarely. As a reorganization Chapter, debt maturities can be extended, principal and interest can be reduced, and debt can be refinanced by obtaining a new loan. Interestingly, there is no provision for the sale of municipal assets or their distribution to creditors, as this would run afoul of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution. See Ashton v. Cameron County Water Improvement Dist. No. 1, 298 U.S. 513 (1936) (holding the first Municipal Bankruptcy Act unconstitutional) and United States v. Bekins, 304 U.S. 27 (1938) (upholding the second Municipal Bankruptcy Act).

Chapter 15 is the newest Chapter of the Bankruptcy Code. It took effect October 17, 2005, and is the U.S. version of the Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (“UNCITRAL”) in 1997. Because Chapter 15 is based on the UNCITRAL, U.S. interpretation must be coordinated with the interpretation given by other countries that have adopted it to promote a uniform and coordinated legal regime for cross-border insolvency cases.

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Brett Weiss, a senior partner at Chung & Press, LLC, represents people and businesses in all phases of bankruptcy. He has experience in complex individual Chapter 7, Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, and in Chapter 11 small business restructuring and reorganization. Mr. Weiss lectures nationally on bankruptcy issues. He has testified before the Federal Bankruptcy Rules Committee, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and has twice testified before Congress on bankruptcy and credit issues. Brett Weiss is the co-author of Chapter 11 for Individual Debtors, and has written Not Dead Yet: Bankruptcy After BAPCPA, for the Maryland Bar Journal, as well as hundreds of blogs for the Bankruptcy Law Network. With his law partner, he recorded a 13-hour basic bankruptcy training series, and leads intensive three-day Chapter 11 training boot camps. Mr. Weiss has received international media attention in connection with his work. He was interviewed by Barbara Walters on The View, has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, ABC News with Peter Jennings, the Montel Williams Show, National Public Radio, AARP-TV, the BBC World Service, German state television, and numerous local radio and television programs, and been quoted in Money magazine, The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun, among others. Brett Weiss is the Maryland State Chair for the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, a founding member of the Bankruptcy Law Network, on the board of the Maryland State Bar Consumer Bankruptcy Council, and a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, the Bankruptcy Bar Association of Maryland, and the Civil Justice Network. He has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” every year since 2007 for Maryland and the District of Columbia, and in 2011 received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys for his work on behalf of consumers across the country. Mr. Weiss is admitted to practice before Maryland and District of Columbia federal and state courts, the United States Courts of Appeals for the DC, Fourth and Eighth Circuits, The United States Tax Court, and the Supreme Court of the United States, and has been practicing law since 1983.
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