You are here
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Court staff give legal advice?
No. A bankruptcy case is a legal proceeding affecting the rights of debtors, creditors and other parties in interest. Judges’ staff and Clerk’s Office staff cannot engage in the practice of law or provide legal advice. Court staff will not offer any opinion as to the probable disposition of any pending matter before the Court and can only answer procedural questions.
What is the Bankruptcy Code?
Bankruptcy Code is the informal name for Title 11 of the United States Code (11 U.S.C. §§ 101-1330), the federal bankruptcy law. Legislation in Title 11 contains both substantive and procedural law for bankruptcy liquidation and rehabilitation cases. A copy of the Bankruptcy Code is available for review at the Clerk’s Office public counters, at any public library, or at the Court’s website. It can also be ordered from a publisher such as West or Collier’s or may be purchased at most bookstores.
What are the Bankruptcy Rules?
The Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and accompanying Official Forms govern procedure in cases filed under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The Bankruptcy Rules are available for review at the Clerk’s Office public intake counters, at any public library, or at the Court’s website. They can also be ordered from a publisher such as West or Collier’s or may be purchased at most bookstores.
What are the Local Rules?
The Local Rules are a set of additional procedural rules developed by the judges of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia. They supplement the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and are construed to be consistent with those Rules. The Local Rules are available for review on the Court’s website, see Local Rules & General Orders.
What is a bankruptcy trustee?
In all Chapter 7, 12, 13 and in some Chapter 11 cases, a case trustee is assigned. In Chapter 7 cases they are called “Panel Trustees.” In Chapter 12 and 13 cases they are called “Standing Trustees.” The Trustee’s job is to administer the bankruptcy estate, to make sure creditors receive as much money as possible, and to preside over the first meeting of creditors. The Trustee either collects and sells non-exempt estate property and distributes the sale proceeds to creditors as in a Chapter 7 case, or collects payments from the debtor and pays out money on a repayment plan, as in Chapter 13 cases. In some Chapter 11 cases, the debtor-in-possession is replaced by a Chapter 11 Trustee who administers the estate. The Trustee is not your attorney.
What is the role of the U.S. Trustee?
The United States Trustee (“U.S. Trustee”) is an officer of the U.S. Justice Department responsible for supervising the administration of bankruptcy cases, estates, and case trustees, monitoring plans and disclosure statements, monitoring Chapter 11 creditors’ committees, monitoring fee applications, and performing other statutory duties. The U.S. Trustee is not a case trustee and does not administer any debtor's estate. For more information, visit www.justice.gov/ust/