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Bankruptcy Archives

What is a 341 meeting in a bankruptcy proceeding?

Chapters 7 and 13 of the Bankruptcy Code have many differences, but one similarity is the compulsory meeting of the debtor and his or her creditors. The meeting is required by Sec. 341 of the Bankruptcy Code, and hence, such meetings are known as 341 meetings. Because the meetings are compulsory, an understanding of their procedure and significance can help a debtor navigate the bankruptcy process.

What is a small business bankruptcy?

Many small business owners in Vancouver understand how seeking protection from creditors in bankruptcy court can be beneficial, but many of these owners are deterred from filing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition by their fears about the cost of the process. Fortunately, the United States Bankruptcy Code contains several provisions aimed to assist these businesses by creating what is called the small business case in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The maze of bankruptcy exemptions

Many residents of Vancouver who decide to seek protection under the federal Bankruptcy Act do not realize that they can designate certain assets as "exempt" from seizure. The problem for most people is choosing between the exemptions provided under Washington state law and the Bankruptcy Act. Both lists are exclusive, that is, a debtor cannot pick some state exemptions and then choose other federal exemptions.

What is a reaffirmation agreement?

Most people in Vancouver who decide to file a petition in bankruptcy expect to have their debts eliminated or significantly reduced. Sometimes, however, a debtor may find benefits to agreeing with the creditor to repay the debt in full even though the obligation is eligible to be entirely discharged in the bankruptcy proceeding. When this happens, the debtor may elect to enter into a "reaffirmation agreement" with the creditor.

Can a person file for bankruptcy and keep the family home?

People in Vancouver who are considering filing a bankruptcy petition have many questions, but the most common by far is the future of the family's home. Will the bank take it away, or must it be sold to satisfy the claims of creditors? The answer depends in part on the type of bankruptcy petition that is filed and in part on the value of the homestead.

Will all my debts be discharged in bankruptcy?

One of the common questions asked by Washingtonians considering bankruptcy is whether all of their debts will be wiped off the books, or discharged, to use the technical term. The answer is "probably not." Congress has determined that, for reasons of public policy, certain types of debts cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding. Those reasons can be quite complex, but an enumeration of debts that cannot be discharged can provide helpful guidance.

When is a lease not a lease?

Many individuals and small businesses in Vancouver use various forms of financing to acquire or rent personal property, such as automobiles, construction equipment, or over-the-road trailers. If the payments are made on time and if other terms of the agreements are satisfied, the characterization of the agreement as a lease or financing agreement usually makes little difference. If, however, the lessee decides to file a bankruptcy petition, the substance of these agreements can become all-important.

What is a voidable preference in bankruptcy?

Most provisions of the United States Bankruptcy Code focus on the financial condition of the debtor, but one provision should give creditors pause before they accept a payment from a person or firm on the verge of bankruptcy. The provision, Section 547, defines the term "voidable preference" and gives the bankruptcy trustee broad powers to recover money from creditors who received a voidable preference.

Understanding the concept of executory contracts

Many Washington state businesses that file bankruptcy petitions have ongoing legal relationships with other parties. Some contracts, such as a real estate lease, may be beneficial to the debtor, while others, such as a contract with a supplier, may be burdensome. The United States Bankruptcy Code refers to such agreements as "executory contracts," and it vests in the trustee important powers with respect to such contracts.

The automatic stay in bankruptcy - how it helps debtors

People in Vancouver who are having financial difficulty often look to the United States Bankruptcy Code for help in getting back on their feet. One of the most powerful remedies provided by the Bankruptcy Code is the "automatic stay," a provision that gives instant - albeit temporary - relief from the pressure of creditors trying to collect on bills.

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