Bankruptcy is a process that many people find intimidating. In part, this is because they must turn their financial information over to the court system. Bankruptcy court oversees your case when you file. Filers must operate within the letter of the bankruptcy law once they file.
Understanding how the bankruptcy court system works and knowing what to expect takes a lot of the anxiety and frustration out of the process.
What is Bankruptcy?
First’s it’s important to understand what bankruptcy is.
Bankruptcy is a process that provides financial relief to those with a debt burden they cannot afford. Federal law governs the bankruptcy process. Filing stops the ongoing collection efforts of creditors. Depending on the type of bankruptcy filed, the person filing receives an elimination of debt, or the flexibility of a payment plan.
Bankruptcy helps a person overwhelmed by allowing them to get things under control and make a fresh financial start. Filing for bankruptcy stays on a person’s credit report for at least seven years and is often seen as a last resort for those experiencing financial difficulties, but for many, it’s the best possible option.
Of course, as positive as the outcome might be, the prospect of filing and turning your financial control over to the bankruptcy court isn’t any less intimidating. This is why it can help to work with a bankruptcy attorney who can answer your questions and guide you through the process.
What is the Bankruptcy Court?
Federal courts hear bankruptcy cases. Bankruptcy courts are specialized district court established by Congress and guided mostly by federal law.
Uniform handling of these cases occurs because dedicated bankruptcy cases oversee them.
If a bankruptcy case must be appealed, it is heard by a regular district court, an appellate court, or in some cases, a bankruptcy appellate panel. A bankruptcy court appeal could make it to the US Supreme Court, but it’s rare and all but guaranteed not to happen with your personal filing.
The Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure governs what happens in bankruptcy court. This is an official collection of rules that govern the procedures of filing. You can learn more about these rules here.
What’s Next If You Choose to File for Bankruptcy?
Like all legal and court matters, US citizens have the option of representing themselves in a bankruptcy case. But, like most situations involving the court system, you shouldn’t do it, even with legal experience.
Working with a qualified bankruptcy attorney means you’ll have an objective third-party reviewing your case and helping you through the process. It will cost you a bit more to hire a bankruptcy attorney, but the investment is well worth it.
Is Bankruptcy Right for You?
Knowing whether or not to file is one of the most important aspects of bankruptcy. It’s also something you’ll likely need assistance determining. It can provide a great deal of relief if you are struggling with debt, but it isn’t right for everyone.
To learn more or to schedule a time to speak to someone who has bankruptcy court experience and who can guide you through the process of filing, contact the Law Office of Robert M. Geller at 813-254-5696 to discuss your situation.