An Introduction to Federal Rule of Banking Procedure
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An Introduction to Federal Rule of Banking Procedure

The FRBP is a far reaching enactment that governs all bamkruptcy courts

Bankruptcy is a subject that comes within the purview of the federal law in the United States. This law has universal application to the states of the union. As a rule all bankruptcy cases are heard in the United States district courts. All civil and criminal cases are heard by these district courts, which are also classified as general courts. However bankruptcy cases are normally heard by the bankruptcy courts which in real terms are part of the district courts. There is a standing reference by the district courts to the bankruptcy courts for all cases of bankruptcy. This standing reference empowers the Bankruptcy courts to hear Bankruptcy cases. This reference can be withdrawn in exceptional cases and then the case can be heard by the district court. But this is only in the rarest of rare cases. FRBP The highest regulatory authority that regulates all bankruptcy courts is the Supreme Court of the United States. The Supreme Court carries this out by framing certain rules which are referred to as Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (abbreviated as FRBP). These rules form the backbone of the governance of all bankruptcy courts and give directions for procedures which must be followed by the United States Bankruptcy courts. There can be no deviation from these rules under any circumstances and their basic purpose is to streamline and standardize the functioning of all bankruptcy courts in the USA. The authority for framing these rules is derived from The Rules Enabling act. The Rules Enabling Act The Rules Enabling act is an important piece of legislation and was passed by Congress. This act empowers the judicial branch of the United States Government to proclaim the Federal rules of Civil Procedure. The rules framed under the FRBP are the bankruptcy counterpart of the federal rules of civil procedure. Similarly there is also the Federal Rules of Criminal procedure. FRBP and Judicial Conference of the United States The FRBP clearly spell out the rules of procedure which are to be followed by the bankruptcy courts. These rules have legal sanction and incase any amendment to these rules is to be incorporated; it can only be done by the Judicial Conference of the United States. The importance of the judicial conference of the United States cannot be minimized as it is the apex policy making body that frames rules and lays down the organization of federal Courts. Issues Covered by FRBP FRBP covers almost all matters that affect the hearing of bankruptcy cases in a bankruptcy court. Some of the important issues the FRBP covers are summarized below a) It lays down rules for adversary proceedings in bankruptcy. b) It specifies commencement and hearing of cases as well as what relief is given to the debtor with automatic stay of proceedings. c) FRBP also covers the duties of the debtor and lays down the time periods for filing the different motions. It also specifies the procedures to be followed for appealing a judgment to the United States District Court or the bankruptcy Appellate Panel. d) Adversary proceedings can be initiated by filing a complaint to the court to sort any issue that concerns Federal or State law. As a rule Adversary proceedings can only be filed by the bankruptcy trustee or an affected party to the case. A third person is not competent to file adversary proceedings. As an example a creditor can file an adversary proceeding and so can a debtor. A creditor has the legal sanction to file an adversary proceeding against the debtor to object to the debtor's discharge, while a debtor can also file an adversary proceeding against a creditor in case he feels that the automatic stay granted to him by law has been violated. What is automatic stay? Automatic stay is an automatic injunction which has legal sanction and puts a bar on all actions by any creditor to collect debts from a person who has declared insolvency. This section delineates that the stay begins the moment the bankruptcy petition is filed. But there is a small rider to this injunction which states that in case you are a secured creditor then you have the option to file a petition for relief to the Bankruptcy court . Section 362 has certain limitations with regard to automatic stay. These limitations are incorporated by the FRBP. The first restriction specifies that the automatic stay will expire in case a debtor had a case dismissed during the year. In such a case the only option is for the debtor to file for a court order, but this must be done within 30 days. Secondly if the debtor had two or more cases pending prior to filing the present case in the year, their will be no automatic stay. The debtor will have to file a petition to the court to lift the bar. The FRBP have a far reaching effect on the entire gamut of litigation proceedings in a bankruptcy case and people must be aware of it.

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