Law Research Guide: Bankruptcy Law

Last Updated: Nov. 10, 2014. AJB

As defined by Black's Law Dictionary bankruptcy is "[a] statutory procedure by which a. . .debtor obtains financial relief and undergoes a judicially supervised reorganization or liquidation of the debtor's assets for the benefit of creditors; a case under the Bankruptcy Code." Bankruptcy law is federal law. The United States Constitution empowers Congress to establish uniform laws of bankruptcy and, therefore states, are preempted from enacting bankruptcy laws. They may, however, enact debtor-creditor law.

 Secondary Sources

For those unfamiliar with arbitration, a secondary source is a good way to get started. Consider consulting a preeminent treatise such as:

Periodicals and Books are also a good place to start.

 Statutes

Article 1, sect. 8, cl. 4 of the US Constitution states:

"The Congress shall have power to ... establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;"

States, are preempted from enacting bankruptcy laws. Federal Bankruptcy Law can be found in the following sections of the United States Code, located in the Core-A Collection of the UM Law Library:

Selected Laws:

  • Bankruptcy Technical Corrections Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-327 (Dec. 22. 2010); 124 Stat. 3557.
  • Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, Pub. L. No. 109-8 (Apr. 20, 2005); 119 Stat. 23.
    • An excellent introduction to the BAPCPA of 2005 is: Strange New World by Steve Seidenberg, 93 A.B.A. J. 49 (Jan. 2007), Anglo-American Periodicals.
  • Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1994, Pub. L. No. 103-394 (Oct. 22, 1994); 108 Stat. 4106.
  • Bankruptcy Judgeship Act of 1992, Pub. L. No. 102-361 (Aug. 26, 1992); 106 Stat. 965.
  • Bankruptcy Judges, United States Trustees, and Family Farmer Bankruptcy Act of 1986, Pub. L. No. 99-554 (Oct. 26, 1986); 100 Stat. 3088.
  • Bankruptcy Tax Act of 1980, Pub. L. No. 96-589 (Dec. 24, 1980); 94 Stat. 3389.
  • Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978, Pub. L. No. 95-598 (Nov. 6, 1978); 92 Stat. 2549.

Bankruptcy Rules: Westlaw, Lexis, Bloomberg, Cornell, & US Courts

Portable unannotated bankruptcy statutes and rules are also available in:

  • Bankruptcy Code, Rules and Forms, Including Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Federal Rules of Evidence (2014). Treatise Collection, KF1511.596 .A2.
  • Collier Pamphlet Edition, Part 1: Bankruptcy Code. Treatise Collection, KF1524 .C65 & Lexis.

Collier Pamphlet Edition, Part 2: Bankruptcy Rules. Treatise Collection, KF1524 .C65 & Lexis.

 Federal Regulations

Both the C.F.R. and Federal Register are in hard copy in the library Reference Collection and on HeinOnline, Westlaw, Lexis Advance. Unofficial information on federal regulation can be obtained through several websites: FDsys, eCFR, federal regulation, and regulation.gov.

 Florida Resources

In Florida, a debtor's exemptions are those available under Florida Law. State commercial law, particularly the Florida Uniform Commercial Code, frequently governs the rights of parties. Cases in Florida are heard by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida. The Florida Courts Website makes Administrative Orders, Local Rules, Local Forms and Guidelines available. The following sources focus on Florida Bankruptcy Law:

  • Florida Creditors' Rights Manual, by Stephen B. Rakusin, 5 vols. (1975-Current). KFF220.A6 R3 & Lexis
  • Litigating Commercial Cases in Bankruptcy Court, Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education (2014). Westlaw.
  • The Impact of Bankruptcy on Construction Law Rights, Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education (2013). Westlaw.
  • Overview of Bankruptcy, Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education (2013). Westlaw.
  • Creditors' and Debtors' Practice in Florida, 3rd Ed., Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education (2012). Reserve & Florida Collection, KFF220.C75 2007 & Lexis.
  • Bankruptcy Law & Practice: Views From the Florida Bench, Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education Committee and the Business Law Section (2007). Florida Collection, KFF221.Z9 B364 2007 & Lexis.
  • Effect of Bankruptcy Code on Secured Creditors' Rights, Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education (1996). Westlaw.

The UM Law Library Guide on Mortgages Foreclosures & Loan Workouts may prove useful. Florida Law Help also has a section on bankruptcy, with information specific to the State.

 Cases

  • West's Bankruptcy Law Reporter - The standard case reporter for bankruptcy cases since 1978. It reports all cases from the Bankruptcy Courts as well as selected bankruptcy cases from the other federal courts. Core A Collection & Westlaw.
  • Bankruptcy Law Reporter (CCH) (Westlaw)
  • United States Bankruptcy Reports (Core A Collection), West's Supreme Court Reporter (Core A Collection & Westlaw) and Supreme Court Reports Lawyers' Edition (Core A Collection) are three Supreme Court reporters that report bankruptcy law cases. Bankruptcy cases are also published in the West's Federal Reporter (Core A Collection), but the West's Federal Supplement no longer publishes bankruptcy decisions.
  • Florida Bankruptcy Court Cases (Westlaw & Bloomberg)

Bankruptcy Dockets:

Bankruptcy Briefs & Motions: Westlaw, Lexis, Bloomberg

 History

  • History of Bankruptcy, Taxation, & Economic Reform in America, Part III (HeinOnline). Has full text of historic treatises, cases, laws, legislative history, periodicals, rules, and some British materials.
  • Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978: A Legislative History, ed. Alan N. Resknick & Eugene M. Wypyski (1979). Treatise Collection, KF1511.54 A15 1979 & Westlaw.
  • Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1994, Arnold & Porter. Westlaw
  • Collier on Bankruptcy, 16th Ed. (2009). Treatise Collection, Volumes B-F KF1524.C75 & Lexis.

 Periodicals

 Internet Sources

 Select Books From the UM Law Library

  • Attorney Liability in Bankruptcy, by Corinne Cooper, ABA General Practice, Solo, & Small Firm Division (2006). Treatise Collection & Reserve Audiovisual, KF313.C66 2006.
  • Bankruptcy and Debtor/Creditor, 5th Ed., by Brian A. Blum, (2010). Reserve Collection KF1524.3 B58 2010.
  • Bankruptcy and Insolvency Taxation, 4th Ed., by Grant W. Newton & Robert Liquerman, (2012). Tax Collection KF6332 N49 2012.
  • Bankruptcy & Related Law in a Nutshell, 8th Ed., by David G. Epstein, (2013). Reserve Collection KF1501.Z9 E67 2013.
  • Bankruptcy Deadline Checklist: An Easy-To-Use Reference Guide for Case Management & Administration, 4th Ed. by Norman L. Pernick, ABA Section of Business Law (2009). Treatise Collection & Reserve Audiovisual KF1164.3 B.36 2009 & Bloomberg.
  • Bankruptcy Law Fundamentals, (2014). Treatise Collection KF1524.A73 2014 & Westlaw.
  • Business Bankruptcy Essentials, by Stan Bernstein, ABA Business Law Section (2009). Treatise Collection KF1524.B47 2009 & Bloomberg.
  • Chapter 7: Bankruptcy: Straight Liquidation for the Debtor, 6th Ed., by Florida Bar, (2088). Treatise Collection KF1544.W37 2008
  • Chapter 11: Reorganizations, by W. Homer Drake & Christopher S. Strickland, (2013). Westlaw.
  • Chapter 11: Reorganizing American Businesses: Essentials, by Elizabeth Warren, (2008). Treatise Collection KF1544.W37 2008.
  • Collier on Bankruptcy, 16th Ed., (2009). Treatise Collection KF1524 .C752 2009 & HeinOnline (1898-1921).
  • Corporate Governance in Insolvency and Bankruptcy: A Collier Monograph, ed. Christopher W. Frost, (2011). Treatise Collection KF1544.F76 2011.
  • Creditors' Rights in Bankruptcy, 2nd. Ed., (2011). Treatise Collection KF1524.M872 2013-2014 & Westlaw.
  • Discharging Student Loans in Bankruptcy, 4th Ed. by David J. Light, (2009). Treatise Collection KF1530.D4 L45 2009.
  • Elements of Bankruptcy, 5th Ed., by Douglas G. Baird, (2010). Treatise Collection KF1524.B32 2010.
  • Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation in Corporate Bankruptcy: A Collier Monograph, 2nd Ed., by John R. Cornell, (2010). Treatise Collection KF1526.E45 2010.
  • Family Lawyer's Guide to Bankruptcy: Forms, Tips, & Strategies, 2nd Ed., by Shayna M. Steinfeld, ABA Section of Family Law (2008). Treatise Collection & Reserve Audiovisual, KF1535.D58 S74 2008.
  • Guide to Judicial Management of Bankruptcy Mega-Cases, 2nd. Ed., by Laura B. Bartell, (2009). Treatise Collection KF1527 .B37 2009.
  • How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, 15th Ed., by Stephen Elias, NOLO Press (2008). Treatise Collection KF1524.85 E4.
  • Inside Bankruptcy Law: What Matters and Why, by Nathalie Martin & Oean Tama, (2008). Treatise Collection KF1524.85.M37 2008.
  • Mastering Bankruptcy, by George W. Kuney, (2008). Treatise Collection KF1524.K86 2008.
  • Professional Fees in Corporate Bankruptcies, by George W. Kuney, (2008). Treatise Collection KF1530.F54 L67 2011.
  • New Bankruptcy: Will It Work for You?, by Stephen Elias, NOLO Press (2013). Treatise Collection KF1524.6.E43 2013.
  • Questions & Answers: Bankruptcy: Multiple Choice and Short Answer Questions & Answers, by Bruce A. Markell & Mary Jo Wiggins, (2010). Reserve Collection KF1524.Z9 Q84 2010.
  • Strategies for Creditors in Bankruptcy , 5th Ed., by Lynn M. LoKucki & Christopher R. Mirick, (2007). Treatise Collection KF1524.L56 2007.
  • Surety & Bankruptcy, by Blake Wilcox, ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, (2010). Treatise Collection KF1524.S87 2010.
  • Tax Issues in Bankruptcy & Insolvency, 2nd. Ed., by Williard D. Horwich, Civic Research Institute, (2012). Tax Collection KF6332.H67 2012.
  • Thorny Issues in Consumer Bankruptcy Cases, by Jack F. Williams & Susan Seabury, American Bankruptcy Institute, (2008). Treatise Collection KF1524.W55 2008, Westlaw, & Bloomberg.
  • Understanding Bankruptcy, 3rd. Ed., by Jeff Ferriell & Edward J. Janger, (2013). Reserve Collection KF1524.H427 2013.

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QUICKLINKS

Training
Library Hours
Library Staff
Ask a Librarian

ACCESSING DATABASES FROM OFF-CAMPUS OR USING WIRELESS
Instructions: Video  |  Text

HELPFUL PHONE NUMBERS

Library Reference: 305-284-3585
Library Circulation: 305-284-3563
Automated Operator: 305-284-2250
Copy Center: 305-284-3272
Computer Help Desk: 305-284-5297

 

QUOTE
"Perhaps the two most valuable and satisfactory products of American civilization are the librarian on the one hand and the cocktail in the other."
- Louis Stanley Jast, Librarian