Pennsylvania Civil Law Clinic
Spring 2005

Contact Ed Sonnenberg, the course's library liaison, for research related questions at ejsonnenberg@widener.edu or contact the Information Desk at (717) 541-3934.

This page includes: Getting Started
The information below is extracted from the Web page of the United States Bankruptcy Courts.

Federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over bankruptcy cases. Bankruptcy cases cannot be filed in state court. Each of the 94 federal judicial districts handles bankruptcy matters. The primary purposes of the law of bankruptcy are: (1) to give an honest debtor a "fresh start" in life by relieving the debtor of most debts, and (2) to repay creditors in an orderly manner to the extent that the debtor has property available for payment. A bankruptcy case is commenced by the filing of a petition. You must also file a statement of your assets and liabilities, and schedules listing your creditors. You can obtain the required forms at Bankruptcy Forms.

There is a range of filing fees for bankruptcy cases, depending on the chapter of the bankruptcy code under which you file. Chapter 7, by far the most common form filed by individuals, involves an almost complete liquidation of the assets of the debtor, as well as a discharge of most debts. You must pay a fee of $209 to file a case under Chapter 7, which includes a $155 filing fee, a $39 miscellaneous fee, and a $15 trustee fee. See Bankruptcy Basics (PDF) and the Bankruptcy Court Miscellaneous Fee Schedule (PDF).

U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania: Bankruptcy Practice Order & Forms For The Middle District of Pennsylvania, Bankruptcy Hearing Lists & General Calendars, Official Bankruptcy Forms, Case Administrator's Phone Numbers for Harrisburg Cases, and Voice Case Information System (VCIS).

Primary Materials

STATUTES

11 U.S.C. § 101 et seq.

Lexis
Federal Bankruptcy - U.S. Code Service
Database Identifier: BKRTCY;USCS

Westlaw
Federal Bankruptcy - U.S. Code Annotated
Database Identifier: FBKR-USCA

RULES

The Bankruptcy Rules of Procedure can be found in the Appendix to Title 11 in the United States Code (U.S.C.) and the United States Code Annotated (U.S.C.A.).

In the United States Code Service (U.S.C.S.), the Bankruptcy rules can be found in the Court Rules volumes following Title 50.

Lexis
Bankruptcy Rules
Database Identifier: BKRTCY;BKRULE

Westlaw
Federal Bankruptcy-Rules
Database Identifier: FBKR-RULES

FORMS

Official Bankruptcy Forms can be found in the Appendix to Title 11 in the United States Code (U.S.C.) and the United States Code Annotated (U.S.C.A.).
In the United States Code Service (U.S.C.S.), the Bankruptcy forms can be found in the Court Rules volumes following Title 50.

Internet
www.uscourts.gov/bkforms/index.html

Lexis
Official Bankruptcy Forms
Database Identifier: BKRTCY;BKRULE

Westlaw
Bankruptcy Forms Combined
Database Identifier: BKR_FORMS

Secondary Materials

GENERAL BOOKS

The following is a list of current treatises available in the Legal Information Center (Harrisburg Campus). For additional books on this topic, conduct a search on the library's catalog available online at http://libcat.widener.edu. Books that are available on the Wilmington campus may be obtained by clicking on the "Request" tab that appears at the top of your results page once you've performed a search.
HINT: For more books on the topic Bankruptcy, Debtor/Creditor, or Foreclosure, perform a subject search using the following subject headings:

Bankruptcy
Debtor and Creditor
Foreclosure-Pennsylvania


Title: Bankruptcy and Debtor/Creditor: Examples and Explanations
Author: Blum, Brian A.
Call Number: KF1524.3 .B58 2003

Title: Bankruptcy and Related Law in a Nutshell
Author: Epstein, David G.
Call Number: KF 1501.Z9 E67 2002 RESERVE

Title: Bankruptcy Issues for Domestic Relations Lawyers
Author: Pennsylvania Bar Institute
Call Number: KFP 221.A75 B38 2004

Title: Consumer Bankruptcy Law and Practice: with CD-ROM
Author: Rao, John, ed.
Call Number: KF 1527 .S65 2004

Title: Debt Collection in Pennsylvania: with Forms
Author: Mathieu, James V.
Call Number: KFP 167.C6 M38 2002

Title: Fundamentals of Bankruptcy Law
Author: ALI-ABA
Call Number: KF 1524.A2 F86 2004

Title: Fundamentals of Mortgage Foreclosures
Author: Pennsylvania Bar Institute
Call Number: KFP 130.5 .F6 F85 2003

Title: How to Handle Consumer Bankruptcy Cases: A Practical Step-By-Step Guide, 2001
Author: Practising Law Institute
Call Number: KF 1524.3 H67 2001

Title: The Individual in Bankruptcy
Author: Pennsylvania Bar Institute
Call Number: KFP 221.A75 I5 2001

Title: The Nuts & Bolts of Consumer Bankruptcy
Author: Pennsylvania Bar Institute
Call Number: KF 1524.A2 N87 2003

Title: Regional Bankruptcy Practice
Author: Pennsylvania Bar Institute
Call Number: KF 1524.A2 R45 2002

Title: Understanding the Basics of Bankruptcy & Reorganization, 2004
Author: PLI
Call Number:KF 1524.3 U53 2004


BANKRUPTCY RULES, CODE, AND FORMS

Title: Bankruptcy Code and Rules
Author: Collier
Call Number: KF 1524.C64

Title: Bankruptcy Code, Rules and Forms
Author: West Publishing
Call Number: KF 1511.53 .A2 RESERVE

Title: Bankruptcy Forms Manual
Author: Administrative Office of the United States Courts
Call Number: KF 1521. U54 2000

Title: Local Rules of the Bankruptcy Courts
Author: Herzog, Asa S.
Call Number: KF 1524.C63 1981

Other

BANKRUPTCY FILINGS

Lexis
Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Filings
Database Identifier: BKRTCY;PABKT

Westlaw
Bankruptcy Public Records and Filings
WestDockets-U.S. Bankruptcy Court Pennsylvania-Middle
Database Identifier: Search dock-pa-mbkr


PACER (Fee Based)
The PACER Service Center is the Federal Judiciary's centralized registration, billing, and technical support center for electronic access to U.S. District, Bankruptcy, and Appellate court records.

Bankruptcy & Debt on FindLaw
http://bankruptcy.findlaw.com