Bankruptcy Forms: Filing Bankruptcy Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Software Chapter 13

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TITLE 11–BANKRUPTCY

CHAPTER 3–CASE ADMINISTRATION

Sub Chapter –Commencement of a Case

Sec. 302. Joint cases
   (a) A joint case under a chapter of this title is commenced by the 
filing with the bankruptcy court of a single petition under such chapter 
by an individual that may be a debtor under such chapter and such 
individual's spouse. The commencement of a joint case under a chapter of 
this title constitutes an order for relief under such chapter.
    (b) After the commencement of a joint case, the court shall 
determine the extent, if any, to which the debtors' estates shall be 
consolidated.

(Pub. L. 95-598, Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2558.)


                      Historical and Revision Notes

                        senate report no. 95-989

    A joint case is a voluntary bankruptcy case concerning a wife and 
husband. Under current law, there is no explicit provision for joint 
cases. Very often, however, in the consumer debtor context, a husband 
and wife are jointly liable on their debts, and jointly hold most of 
their property. A joint case will facilitate consolidation of their 
estates, to the benefit of both the debtors and their creditors, because 
the cost of administration will be reduced, and there will be only one 
filing fee.
    Section 302 specifies that a joint case is commenced by the filing 
of a petition under an appropriate chapter by an individual and that 
individual's spouse. Thus, one spouse cannot take the other into 
bankruptcy without the other's knowledge or consent. The filing of the 
petition constitutes an order for relief under the chapter selected.
    Subsection (b) requires the court to determine the extent, if any, 
to which the estates of the two debtors will be consolidated; that is, 
assets and liabilities combined in a single pool to pay creditors. 
Factors that will be relevant in the court's determination include the 
extent of jointly held property and the amount of jointly-owned debts. 
The section, of course, is not license to consolidate in order to avoid 
other provisions of the title to the detriment of either the debtors or 
their creditors. It is designed mainly for ease of administration.

                  Section Referred to in Other Sections

    This section is referred to in sections 101, 362, 365, 522, 541 of 
this title.

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Note: For affordable legal assistance The Center For Debt Management highly recommends Standard Legal's Do-It-Yourself Bankruptcy Forms Software Kits. For credit repair services,
the most trusted law firm in America with over 15 years of experience is Lexington Law Firm.

For more bankruptcy help and bankruptcy alternatives, go to Bankruptcy Resources

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Legal Resource Center: United States Code TITLE 11 Filing Bankruptcy Forms Software