A legal proceeding that relieves a person’s responsibility of paying debts or provides protection while a person attempts to repay debts. There are two types of bankruptcies: liquidation, where debts are wiped out, and reorganization, where a court is provided with a plan for how the debts will be repaid. For both consumers and business, liquidation bankruptcy is called Chapter 7. For consumers, reorganization bankruptcy is called Chapter 13. Reorganization bankruptcy for consumers with an extraordinary amount of debt and for businesses is called Chapter 11. Reorganization bankruptcy for family farmers is called Chapter 12. Bankruptcy judges preside over these proceedings. The person owing the debts is called the debtor, and the people or companies to whom the debts are owed are called creditors.

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