Bankruptcy FAQs

What is the debtor?
The person or entity for which a case under Title 11 of the U.S. Code has been commenced.

What is a voluntary bankruptcy?
A case initiated by the debtor.

What is an involuntary bankruptcy?
A case initiated by the debtor's creditors.

What are the different kinds of bankruptcy?
The most common bankruptcies are Chapter 7 (liquidation), Chapter 11 (reorganization), Chapter 13 (reorganization), as well as Chapter 12 (farm cases).

Is bankruptcy a state or federal proceeding?
Bankruptcies are filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the appropriate district, and are federal proceedings.

What is a bankruptcy trustee?
A person or entity appointed to represent the interests of the bankruptcy estate and the unsecured creditors.

Is a bankruptcy trustee appointed in all bankruptcy cases?
No. In Chapter 11, the debtor may serve as the Debtor in Possession, although the bankruptcy court may determine that it is appropriate to appoint a trustee.

Are bankruptcy trustees government employees?
No, they are independent contractors with the U.S. government.