Redwood City Bankruptcy: Bankruptcy is a federal action

Bankruptcy is a federal matter. Think of bankruptcy as the domain of the government of the United States of America, not uniquely California. Senators and the Houst of Representatives make and change laws regarding bankruptcy. Challenges to the bankruptcy code are heard in federal court, not the local municipal variety. Yet, the state-specific issues are very important, which deal mostly with issues such as domicile [LINK] and exemptions [LINK and play a major role in determining which federal office to file in and what property should be kept. Ultimately, as a starting point, view bankruptcy as a federal issue.

Specifically, the bankruptcy laws are codified within Title 11 of the United States Code. The Chapter number is linked to the type of relief sought. Thus, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is found within Title 11, Chapter 7; and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy within Title 11, Chapter 13. This makes it easy when reviewing law to figure out what type of bankruptcy is being discussed. Section 707, for instance, deals with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy; and Section 1322 relates to Chapter 13s.

Historically, federal bankruptcy jurisdiction originated first in 1800 when federal district court judges were authorized to appoint commissioners to oversee the discharge of debt. In 1841, Congress granted broad authority to the courts to handle bankruptcy proceedings. The 1898 Bankruptcy Act detailed specific bankruptcy powers and stood as the law on bankruptcy within the United States for 80 years until the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978. Another change was made in 1984 and then again, in 2005, with the Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act.

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