The US Constitution grants Congress the power to establish uniform laws on Bankruptcy. Our bankruptcy law is a Federal law administered by the US courts.
But, does that make it the same from state to state? It certainly does not. Although the main framework of the law applies across the country, the specifics of many provisions vary greatly from state to state and even from District to District within a state.
Each court seems to have its share of local customs. These can include the following:
- specifics for how the general bankruptcy law is interpreted;
- what the role of the trustee is in the bankruptcy process is; and
- how the US Bankruptcy rules are actually administered.
Many districts have their own form of the Chapter 13 plan. The rule here is obvious: if you’re going to file bankruptcy, hire someone in your area who knows the local customs. It’s far easier to walk into a bankruptcy hearing (even the first meeting of creditors) with someone that knows the bankruptcy trustee and is familiar with him, then to go into the hearing with a representative who, like you, has never been there before.
Don’t get home-towed: hire local counsel.
Carolyn Secor is a Clearwater bankruptcy attorney and Clearwater foreclosure attorney serving Palm Harbor, New Port Richey, Oldsmar, Tarpon Springs, Seminole, St. Petersburg, and the Tampa Bay area.