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West Palm Beach Bankruptcy & Business Attorneys > > Bankruptcy Attorneys > Key Terms In A Bankruptcy Case: Part I

Key Terms In A Bankruptcy Case: Part I


Whether you are planning to file for personal bankruptcy or business bankruptcy, what are some of the key terms you will need to know? Bankruptcy law is complicated, and there are a wide range of terms that are used in different types of bankruptcy cases. While you should still have a bankruptcy attorney handling your case and assisting you throughout the bankruptcy process regardless of your new knowledge of bankruptcy law terminology, it is nonetheless very important to gain a clearer understanding of the key terms that may apply to your case. Our West Palm Beach bankruptcy lawyers can provide you with more information about the language and terms you need to know.

Adversary Proceeding 

The term “adversary proceeding” is used to describe lawsuits that are connected to a bankruptcy case or that arise out of a bankruptcy case. Bankruptcy cases in which debtors are seeking to have student loans discharged, for example, typically require the filing of an adversary proceeding.

Automatic Stay 

The automatic stay is an injunction that takes effect as soon as a debtor files for bankruptcy. It stops creditors from continuing to take action against a debtor, including filing or proceeding with an existing lawsuit, garnishing wages, initiating or moving forward with a foreclosure, and even continuing to contact the debtor to try to get the debtor to pay.

Bankruptcy Estate 

The bankruptcy estate is the term for all of the debtor’s property and property interests at the time the debtor files for bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy Petition 

The bankruptcy petition is the legal document that the debtor files in a bankruptcy case in order to initiate the bankruptcy. In cases of involuntary bankruptcies, the creditor is the party who files the bankruptcy petition.


A claim is what a creditor asserts in a bankruptcy case to obtain a payment from the bankruptcy estate, and it is based on the debt the creditor is owed.


When a debtor files for a reorganization bankruptcy under Chapter 11 or Chapter 13, the debtor must put forward a repayment or reorganization plan for repaying debt over a period of time. The court must approve the plan, and that approval is known as a confirmation.

Credit Counseling 

The U.S. Bankruptcy code requires most debtors to go through credit counseling, which is a type of financial management course, before filing a bankruptcy petition.


The debtor is the party filing for bankruptcy — either an individual or a business.

Debtor Education

 After filing for bankruptcy and before a discharge, the debtor must typically complete a debtor education course. This course is distinct from credit counseling, which happens before a bankruptcy filing.

Contact an Experienced Bankruptcy Lawyer in West Palm Beach 

Do you have questions about any of the terms we have discussed above, or do you have questions or need assistance with a bankruptcy case in South Florida? One of our experienced West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorneys is here to assist you. Do not hesitate to get in touch with the advocates at Kelley Kaplan & Eller for assistance with your case.



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