Residents of Rockland County who are experiencing financial difficulties, especially from significant credit card debt, are often told that bankruptcy can protect them from creditors. While this statement is generally correct, the "how" of this protection is often a mystery for some people. For most individuals who file a petition in bankruptcy, the strongest protection is provided by the automatic stay, a court order that is issued automatically when a bankruptcy petition is filed.
By now, the news of the bankruptcy filing by Sears is well known. Many Sears stores will close, and many employees will lose their jobs. But, what about firms that sell goods and services to Sears or rent space to Sears? Preliminary analyses of the retail market appear to show that some firms will benefit from the Sears bankruptcy and others will be harmed. The extent of both harmful and beneficial effects cannot yet be measured with fine accuracy, but preliminary studies of Sears' situations provide a few informative hints.
Another retailing icon appears to be edging toward a bankruptcy filing. Sears, one of the most recognized names in American retailing, is expected to file a business bankruptcy petition. The decline of Sears appears to be the result of a changing retail climate in the country and a serious of questionable management decisions.
Most residents of Rockland County have never heard of cancellation of indebtedness income. The common perception is that when a creditor cancels a debt, that's it. The debtor is completely off the hook, and nothing more needs to be done. Unhappily, that is not the case.
Rockland County businesses and individuals who are contemplating the filing of a petition in bankruptcy court rarely stop to wonder why Congress created a special court to handle bankruptcy cases. The creation of bankruptcy courts and the defining of their jurisdiction is a long and complicated history. A review of the last several decades of this history may help our readers understand why the bankruptcy court is different from other U.S. courts.