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What Is Bankruptcy?

 

Bankruptcy is a way for people and businesses who owe more money than they can pay right now (‘debtors') to either work out a plan to repay the money over time in a case under chapter 11, chapter 12 or chapter 13, or to wipe out (‘discharge') most of their bills in a chapter 7 case. The filing of a bankruptcy petition immediately stops most actions to collect debts which were due at the time of filing, including law suits, repossessions, and foreclosures. Based upon the circumstances, the court may, however, permit some eviction, repossession and foreclosure actions to continue even after the case is filed.

 

What chapter you choose to file under, what bills can be eliminated, how long payments can be stretched out, and other details are controlled by the Bankruptcy Code and the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. These are federal laws, which means they apply all over the United States. The Code and Rules are found in Title 11 of the United States Code.

 

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