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Bankruptcy Law

These days, one of the laws that is often in the news is the bankruptcy law. Every other day we hear of a major corporation filing for bankruptcy protection. So what exactly is this bankruptcy law and as consumers do we need to be concerned when an organization we know of or are associated with, goes bankrupt? This usually happens when a company’s debts increase its assets and it finds itself unable to pay off its loans. Most organizations voluntarily approach the bankruptcy court, but the creditors can also force an organization to file for bankruptcy. The purpose of declaring bankruptcy is to discharge as many debts as possible and to protect the debtor from further liability.

When a company files for bankruptcy, it effectively places its financial affairs under the control of the bankruptcy court. One very common catalyst for seeking protection under bankruptcy act is the threat of imminent foreclosure. Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 are the legislations which are used most often. In Chapter 7 a trustee is appointed by the court who clears as many debts as possible from the defaulter’s assets. The rest of the debts are written off by the court and it is the creditor who suffers losses. Some items are exempt from the sale under Chapter 7.

Under Chapter 11, the business can reorganize and refinance itself. In this manner they can prevent dissolution. Under this, usually the defaulter is given a certain time period to clear off debts and there is no trustee to oversee the proceedings. Another section in bankruptcy law is Chapter 13 which is usually applicable to individuals who are bankrupt. Owing to its various aspects and the vast complexities involved, bankruptcy law is a specialization in itself. Someone who has been officially declared bankrupt cannot file for bankruptcy for a period of seven years.

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