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A lawsuit filed in the bankruptcy court which is related to the
debtor's bankruptcy case. Examples are complaints to determine
the dischargeability of a debt & validity of liens.
The amount that is unpaid & overdue as of the date the bankruptcy
case is filed. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing can "cure"
arrearages such as mortgage, automobile, child support, and alimony.
The personal possessions belonging to the debtor including cash,
real estate, bank accounts, retirement accounts, vehicles, household furnishings, jewelry, etc.
An injunction that stops lawsuits, foreclosures, garnishments, and
collection activity against a debtor the moment a bankruptcy
petition is filed.
Elimination (avoid) some kinds of liens that interfere with (or
impair) an exemption claimed in the bankruptcy. Most judgment
liens that are attached to a debtor's home can be avoided if the
total of the liens is greater than the value of the property in
which the exemption is claimed.
Rights given to the bankruptcy trustee or debtor in possession to
recover certain transfers of property such as preferences or
fraudulent transfers or avoid liens created before the beginning of
Title 11 of the US Code that governs bankruptcy proceedings.
Bankruptcy is a matter of federal law and is, with the exception of
exemptions, and is the same in every state.
The estate is all of the legal and equitable interests of the debtor
as of the beginning of the case. From the estate, an
individual debtor can claim certain property exempt; the balance of
the estate is liquidated in a Chapter 7 to pay administrative costs
and claims of creditors according to priority.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
It is a process provided under federal law by which you are entitled
a fresh start. Chapter 7 eliminates most kinds of unsecured
debt and is usually designed for someone with no assets.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Is an interest-free 5 year debt repayment plan whereby the trustee
consolidates your debt and pays your creditors. It can save
your house from foreclosure or save a car from repossession.
The property that is subject to a lien for payment of a debt or
performance of a contract. A creditor with rights in
collateral is a secured creditor because the claim secured by
A chapter 7 case may be converted to a Chapter 13 if the debtor is
Any person or business that a debtor owes money to.
Denial of Discharge
A penalty for debtor misconduct. Debts that could have been
discharged cannot be discharged in any subsequent bankruptcy.
The administration of the case (the liquidation of assets and the
recovery of avoidable transfers) continues for the benefit of the
The legal term for the order eliminating a debt in a bankruptcy
case. The debt is no longer legally enforceable against the
debtor, but a lien that secures debt may survive the bankruptcy such
as a mortgage.
A homeowner's financial interest in a property. Equity is the
difference between the value of the property, what is owed, and
Property that is removed from the bankruptcy estate and not
available to pay to the claims of creditors. The debtor gets
to keep exempt property to make a fresh start after bankruptcy.
A list of the kinds and values of property that each state allows
debtors to keep that is beyond the reach of the trustee and
Fair Credit Reporting Act
Fair Debt Collections Practices Act
A court ordered method of debt collection after a judgment is
entered against the debtor.
No Asset Case
A Chapter 7 case in which the trustee determines that there is no
significant assets to liquidate. The debtor retains all real
and personal property.
A debt that cannot be eliminated in bankruptcy.
Property that is not real property or affixed to real property, such
as cars, furniture, stocks, bonds, and bank accounts.
A transfer to a creditor in payment of an existing debt made with
certain time periods before the bankruptcy was filed.
Preferences may be recovered by the trustee for redistribution among
Claims or events that occurred before the beginning of the
bankruptcy was filed. Generally, only pre-petition debts may
be discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding.
Certain debts, such as unpaid wages, spousal or child support, and
taxes are elevated in the payment hierarchy under the Bankruptcy
Code. Priority claims must be paid in full before unsecured
Proof of Claim
Document a creditor files showing how much money is owed to them by
the debtor, together with all supporting evidence of the claim.
Property of the Estate
The property that is not exempt and belongs to the bankruptcy
estate. Property of the estate is usually sold by the trustee
and the claims of creditors paid from the proceeds.
The debtor can choose to reaffirm debts that would otherwise be
discharged by the bankruptcy. Generally, when a debt is
reaffirmed a hearing is required and all parties must agree--the
debtor, creditor, and bankruptcy court. The debtor is
obligated to pay the debt in full and the creditor can sue or
repossess the property if the debtor does not pay.
Relief of Stay
A creditor can ask the judge to lift the automatic stay and permit
some action against the debtor or the property of the estate.
If the motion is granted, the moving party (but no one else) is free
to take whatever action the court permits. Relief can be
absolute, for example permitting the creditor to foreclose on
property, or limited allowing the recordation of a notice of
A secured debt is one where the creditor takes personal or real
property as collateral. A creditor whose debt is secured has a right
to take property to satisfy a debt in default.
A private individual or corporation appointed in bankruptcy filings
who represents the interests of both the debtor and creditors.
Trustees are usually lawyers.
A debt is unsecured if there is no collateral that is security for
the debt. Most consumer debts are unsecured debts.
A debt is unsecured if you have simply promised to pay a creditor a
sum of money at a particular time and have not pledged any real or
personal property as collateral for that debt. Generally,
credit cards, utility bills, and medical bills are unsecured.