All bankruptcy proceedings are referred to a bankruptcy judge and all related papers, including the original petition, are filed with the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court. The United States Bankruptcy Court has its own local rules governing procedures within that court.
Bankruptcy is a process created by federal law that provides relief for debtors, who can either eliminate their debts or repay their debts. Chapter 7 "liquidation" is the process by which debtors wipe out or "discharge" many of their debts.
Upon the filing of a voluntary petition for relief under chapter 11 or, in an involuntary case, the entry of an order for such relief, the debtor automatically assumes an additional identity as the "debtor in possession." The term refers to a debtor that keeps possession and control of its assets while undergoing a reorganization under chapter 11, without the appointment of a case trustee.
Although a chapter 13 debtor generally receives a discharge only after completing all payments required by the court-approved repayment plan, there are some limited circumstances under which the debtor may request the court to grant a "hardship discharge." After confirmation of a plan, there are limited circumstances under which the debtor may request the court to grant a hardship discharge even though the debtor has failed to complete plan payments.
The Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) was designed to create a new form of liquidation proceeding. SIPA created the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), a nonprofit, private membership corporation to which most registered brokers and dealers are required to belong. The SIPC fund constitutes an insurance program. The fund is designed to protect the customers of brokers or dealers subject to SIPA from loss in case of financial failure of the member. The fund is supported by assessments upon its members.