Federal Courts and Bankruptcy Files



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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 to bear.

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 govern them.

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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