Bankruptcy cases are reviewed in bankruptcy court. These courts are part of the federal district court system and were established in 1979. An understanding of these courts and how they work can help you feel more confident about your bankruptcy case and prepare you for what is to come in the days, weeks, and months following the start of your bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy courts have exclusive jurisdiction over bankruptcy cases. The purpose of making them part of the federal system is to keep bankruptcy law consistent across the country. Bankruptcy judges are appointed to their positions and serve 14 year terms.
It is possible for a bankruptcy case to be appealed if the debtor or creditors are not happy with the ruling. Appealed bankruptcy cases move to the appellate court and are usually reviewed by a bankruptcy appellate panel. Panels consist of bankruptcy judges from the same circuit. If there is no appellate panel, appealed cases are heard by the local federal district court and then the United States Court of Appeals if necessary. It is possible for a bankruptcy case to reach the US Supreme Court.
Because bankruptcy cases are dealt with in a consistent manner, the proceedings are governed by procedural rules. This system of rules is called the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. The rules govern the proceedings and the trial. The system is similar to the process in place for litigation in federal district courts.
Your bankruptcy case will be heard in the appropriate local court. You will also need to file your bankruptcy paperwork with that court. The appropriate court is determined by where you live and you must have live at that address for 180 days or more prior to filing. In some areas there is more than one court, so you need to be sure you file with correct one. If necessary, contact the court or speak to your bankruptcy attorney to determine which court is your assigned court. Filing with the wrong court will result in the dismissal of your case.
If you would like to know more about bankruptcy court or you are ready to begin filing, we can help. Contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813.254.5696 to schedule your consultation.