Bankruptcy Basics

This is a straight-forward, online series of "documents" and videos that provide a clear explanation of bankruptcy, the various "chapters" and their related procedures.  

Each bankruptcy "chapter" begins with a brief explanation, and then describes and briefly explains the various steps in the process. As the opening page explains: 

"Bankruptcy Basics ... provides basic information to debtors, creditors, court personnel, the media, and the general public on different aspects of federal bankruptcy laws. It also provides individuals who may be considering bankruptcy with a basic explanation of the different chapters under which a bankruptcy case may be filed and answers some of the most commonly asked questions about the bankruptcy process."

The simply organized website allows for more detailed information to open in a drop-down format on the same page as the clickable link.  


How do you use it?

This resource could be used by students as a stand-alone resource or it could serve judges who wanted to mine the information for translation into a powerpoint. 

The resource could also be the foundation for a several day segment on bankruptcy; used that way, a teacher or judge could add segments using sample bankruptcy schedules, an explanation of the state's exemptions, a showing of a meeting of creditors (such as the one shown in the Bankruptcy Basics video linked to in this resource), and, if a business class is the audience, a sample chapter 11 plan of reorganization.

Depending on whether students are to access the material themselves, individual computers might be needed, or a presenter would want a laptop w/ projector or smart board.  Presenters could circulate the included flow charts as hand-outs.

Who is the audience?

This resource is most appropriate for high school or college students, particularly general business/finance/ pre-law students.

What other resources will complement this?

  1. How Bankruptcy Cases Move through Federal Courts   Websites/documents from the Federal Judicial Center (H, A) 
  2. Quiz #6:  Bankruptcy  Lesson Plan from the Federal Judicial Center (M, H, A)
  3. What is a Bankruptcy Case?  Document from the Federal Judicial Center (M, H, A)

Additional Recommended Resources
 Off-Site Links
  1. A Constitutional Timeline
    • Multi-aged audience timeline that highlights key dates in history of Constitution, with links to text, audio and video clips. From National Constitution Center's Constitution Day site. 
  2. Interactive Constitution
    • Multi-aged audience site that enables users to search Constitution by keyword or topic, with access to explanatory materials throughout. From National Constitution Center.   
  3. The Annenberg Guide to the United States Constitution
    • Multi-aged audience site that lists the text of each section of every article in the Constitution, and provides explanation of what the text means in plain language.  From the Leonore Annenberg Institute of Civics. 
  4. Understanding the Federal Courts
    • Multi-aged online textbook-type document that includes sections on Article III, the Federal Court system and the geographical boundaries of the Courts of Appeal and the District Courts, the code of conduct for judges, juror qualifications, exemptions and terms of service, as well as categories of bankruptcy cases.  From the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts.