The first major bankruptcy legislation since the Chandler Act of 1938 brought major changes to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
Bankruptcy is a process that has been refined over several years and through several pieces of legislation. When looking at the history of bankruptcy, you can usually turn to just a few pieces of legislation that brought major changes to the bankruptcy process. Of course, there have been small changes all along the way, but one of the most important pieces of legislation that helped shaped bankruptcy is the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978. Here are six important changes that the Act brought to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code:
- The act introduced Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection for the first time. The new type of bankruptcy was referred to as a wage-earner reorganization bankruptcy.
- The act allowed married couples to file a joint bankruptcy for the first time. Before the act, people had to file individually regardless of whether they were married or not.
- The act introduced more exemptions for filers. Before the act, debtors had limited options and exemptions. For the first time individuals had exemptions available that would many times allow the person to keep most, if not all, of their property.
- The act allowed direct appeal to the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the first time. This was subsequently changed in other bankruptcy legislation.
- The act gave the bankruptcy court the power to deal with cases that would normally be handled by other courts. This was subsequently changed in other bankruptcy legislation.
- The act reorganized the different chapters of bankruptcy. More specifically, Chapters 5, 6, & 7 were changed to Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Businesses filing for bankruptcy after the act started using Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the first time.
Well, if you know anything about bankruptcy you can see that this Act was substantive. This Act can give you some idea of how the current bankruptcy process is a process that has been shaped over years and years with several pieces of legislation. That's one of the reasons it is important to have a good bankruptcy attorney on your side. A good attorney is around the process day in and day out, and they will know exactly how bankruptcy can help you the most. You'll end up wasting your time and money if you don't choose a good bankruptcy attorney to help you. It doesn't hurt to call, so contact a bankruptcy attorney today to see how the process can help you.