Understanding the Bankruptcy Players: Part 1: The Bankruptcy Judge Skip to main content

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Understanding the Bankruptcy Players: Part 1: The Bankruptcy Judge


It’s that time of year again: baseball season. The smell of freshly-cut grass, the crack of the bat, the seventh inning stretches to the sound of the organ and the smell of a hot dog.

It’s also time for another great bankruptcy metaphor.

A personal bankruptcy can be just like a baseball game. Bankruptcy is ultimately an adversarial process during which there are many players on the field competing to achieve a fair and balanced result. In the process, it’s important to understand all you can about each one—including their individual roles—in order to feel confident that you can win the game.

In this series, “Understanding the Bankruptcy Players,” we’ll identify a few of bankruptcy’s Most Valuable Players—players that it’s best to know before stepping up to the bankruptcy plate. In Part 1, we’ll scout the only real non-player by definition on the roster:

The Bankruptcy Judge.

If the Bankruptcy Court is an even-handed playing field, the Bankruptcy Judge is most definitely its umpire, tasked with calling your case as fairly as possible, pitch after pitch from the other side. Of course, judicial interpretation of any given bankruptcy issue varies from court to court. Fortunately, rulings by bankruptcy judges can be reviewed by other federal judges, and sometimes even make it to the World Series of bankruptcy: the United States Supreme Court.

Unlike other federal jurists in the legal game, bankruptcy judges don’t undertake lifetime appointments. In fact, they are actually reappointed (or not) by the federal court at the expiration of a 14-year term. So, while judges may not be as objective as you would like, like umpires in sport, they are overseen and themselves judged to be fit for this particular type of legal case.

Nevertheless, unlike, a baseball umpire presiding over your game, it’s important to understand that you’ll likely never lay eyes on the bankruptcy judge who oversees your particular bankruptcy case. In fact, the other players in the bankruptcy game: trustees, creditors, attorneys, can normally resolve your bankruptcy issues through rounds of negotiation, standard meetings and final settlement.

The bankruptcy judge is only called in to play when there are real problems with the off the field bankruptcy process. But rest assured, when the game gets rough, and the calls get close and more contentious, there’s always an umpire in the form of a federal bankruptcy judge who is ready, willing and able to step in and make the final determination on a close play.

As a result of the nuances and intricacies of bankruptcy law game, if you find yourself facing insurmountable debt, it is essential to begin the bankruptcy process with a few MVPs of your own. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can be the most important player in the bankruptcy game; he not only knows how to match up to your opponents and can provide some great assists throughout your case, no matter who your creditors are, but he is also the only person responsible for looking out for your best interests. Contact the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt in North Carolina TODAY for a totally FREE debt consultation. Just call toll free to +1-919-646-2654, or make your appointment online at www.billsbills.com. Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button.


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