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  • What is the difference between Chapters 7, 11, 12 and 13?

    Chapter 7 is designed for individuals, corporations and partnerships in financial difficulty who do not have the ability to pay their existing debts. Under chapter 7, a trustee takes possession of all the debtor's non-exempt property, if any, liquidates it for cash and uses the proceeds to pay creditors according to priorities of the Bankruptcy Code.

    Chapter 11 allows a business to reorganize and restructure its finances so that it may continue to operate, provide employees with jobs, pay its creditors, and produce a return for its stockholders, if any. While chapter 11 is primarily designed for a business it is also available to individuals. In a chapter 11 case the debtor proposes a plan to creditors which, if accepted by the creditors and approved by the court, will allow a debtor to reorganize. A debtor may also propose a plan of liquidation and cease doing business.

    Chapter 13 enables individuals with regular incomes, under court supervision and protection, to repay their debts over an extended period of time according to a plan. The plan may call for full or partial repayment. Corporations cannot file under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code.

    Chapter 12 allows family farmers with financial difficulties to repay debts over a period of time from future earnings. In many ways it is similar to a chapter 13 case. The eligibility requirements are restrictive and limits its use to those whose income arises primarily from a family-owned farm.

    While the information presented above is accurate as of the date of publication, it should not be cited or relied upon as legal authority. It is highly recommended that legal advice be obtained from a bankruptcy attorney . For filing requirements, please refer to the United States Bankruptcy Code (title 11, United States Code), the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and the Local Bankruptcy Rules for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

  • Who do I notify about a possible fraudulent filing?

    The Office of the United States Trustee reviews complaints about possible fraudulent filings and, if appropriate, notifies the U.S. Attorney for further investigation. For more information contact:

    Office of the U.S. Trustee
    1001 Liberty Avenue, Suite 970
    Pittsburgh, PA 15222
    Phone: 412-644-4756

  • What will happen to my case if I filed bankruptcy before and did not pay the entire filing fee?

    A Bankruptcy Judge may take any of the following steps when a bankruptcy case is dismissed, the entire filing fee has not been paid, and the debtor tries to file another case within 180 days of the entry of the dismissal order: (1) dismiss the case for failure to abide by an order of the court pursuant to §109(g)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code; (2) refuse to allow the debtor to pay the filing fee for the current case in installments; or (3) take other action that is appropriate for the case.

    If the debtor files a case after 180 days, the court can deny a motion to pay the fee in installments based on the failure to pay previous fees.

  • Is it permissible that attorneys sign amendments to bankruptcy schedules?

    No. Bankruptcy Rules of Procedure 1008 and 9011 specifically state that the debtor is the only person authorized to sign amendments.

  • What is the electronic public access fee schedule?