Other Free Encyclopedias » Law Library - American Law and Legal Information » Free Legal Encyclopedia: Autopsy to Bill of Lading

Bankruptcy - History Of U.s. Bankruptcy Laws, Federal Versus State Bankruptcy Laws, Types Of Federal Bankruptcy Proceedings

debtors assets united individual

A federally authorized procedure by which a debtor—an individual, corporation, or municipality— is relieved of total liability for its debts by making court-approved arrangements for their partial repayment.

Once considered a shameful last resort, bankruptcy in the United States is emerging as an acceptable method of resolving serious financial troubles. A record one million individuals filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States in the peak year of 1992, and between 1984 and 1994 the number of personal bankruptcy filings doubled. Corporate bankruptcies are commonplace, particularly when corporations are the target of lawsuits, and even local governments seek debt relief through bankruptcy laws.

The goal of modern bankruptcy is to allow the debtor to have a "fresh start," and the creditor to be repaid. Through bankruptcy, debtors liquidate their assets or restructure their finances to fund their debts. Bankruptcy law provides that individual debtors may keep certain exempt assets, such as a home, a car, and common household goods, thus maintaining a basic standard of living while working to repay creditors. Debtors are then better able to emerge as productive members of society, albeit with significantly flawed credit records.

CROSS-REFERENCES

Petition in Bankruptcy.

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or