The three most common types of bankruptcy — Chapter 7, Chapter 13 and Chapter 11 — account for nearly all business and personal bankruptcy filings in Georgia and the rest of the United States. There are also several other types of bankruptcy available under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code that are less commonly used, but they do make an interesting topic for discussion.
Federal bankruptcy law provides three additional types of bankruptcy — Chapter 9, Chapter 12 and Chapter 15 — for highly specialized circumstances:
Chapter 9 — This is the least common form of bankruptcy, with only 20 cases having been filed in the entire country between March 2012 and 2013. Chapter 9 is the procedure by which financially troubled cities, townships and boroughs can reorganize their debts. Despite their rarity, two such cases were filed in the Southern District of Georgia during the same period.
Chapter 12 — Chapter 12 is similar in many respects to Chapter 13, but it is limited to family farmers and fisheries. There were 463 such cases filed between March 2012 and March 2013. Of these, 28 occurred across Georgia’s three bankruptcy court districts.
Chapter 15 — Chapter 15 is the newest form of bankruptcy, having only been established in 2005. This Chapter covers international bankruptcy and ancillary proceedings in the United States related to insolvency proceedings in other countries. There were only 64 such cases filed during the 12 months ending in March 2013, none of which were in Georgia.
The federal bankruptcy code is rife with complexities that can be intimidating to anyone — from average consumers to seasoned businesspeople.