Bankruptcy is a set of federal laws and rules that can help individuals and businesses who owe more debt than they can pay. Each of the 94 federal judicial districts handles bankruptcy matters, and in almost all districts, bankruptcy cases are filed in the bankruptcy court. Bankruptcy cases cannot be filed in state court. Bankruptcy laws help people who can no longer pay their creditors get a fresh start by liquidating their assets to pay their debts, or by creating a repayment plan.
Bankruptcy laws also protect troubled businesses and provide for orderly distributions to business creditors through reorganization or liquidation. These procedures are covered under Title 11 of the United States Code (the Bankruptcy Code). The vast majority of cases are filed under the three main chapters of the Bankruptcy Code, which are Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13.
Bankruptcy Records Search By Name
- Arkansas Bar Association
- Association of Bankruptcy Judicial Assistants (ABJA)
- Bankruptcy Forms
- CM/ECF Links and Resources
- Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing Website
- Filing Without an Attorney
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
There are two main types of bankruptcy that consumers may file: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a person’s non-exempt property (this varies from state to state) is liquidated to pay back debts. Even if a liquidation does not generate enough money to pay back all of your debts, whatever unsecured debts (e.g., credit cards) that remain after liquidation are forgiven. Your slate is wiped clean.
In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a person’s bad credit debt is reorganized for repayment by the court, not a credit counselor arrangement. To be eligible for this type of bankruptcy, you must have a steady source of income from which you can make monthly payments to your creditors for the next 3-5 years. How much you have to pay back and what your monthly payments will be are determined by the bankruptcy court and based on things like how much money you owe, how much money your creditors would have received if you had filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and how much you can afford to pay per month.