What Is a Bankruptcy Petition?

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A bankruptcy petition is an official document of the court that initiates the bankruptcy proceeding, and it prevents anyone from continuing a lawsuit against the person filing bankruptcy. Find out how child support, alimony and income taxes fit in to bankruptcy petitions with help from a certified civil mediator in this free video on bankruptcy and money management.

Part of the Video Series: Bankruptcy & Foreclosure
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Video Transcript

You've recently been studying or considering bankruptcy options, and you've heard the term "bankruptcy petition," and you're not really sure what that is. Hello, I'm Robert Todd, and I'm here to answer the question: What is a bankruptcy petition? Well, first of all, that is the document that initiates, starts, commences, begins the bankruptcy proceeding. It is an official document of the court and follows a specific form. It is the document that, once it is filed with the bankruptcy court, generally creates an automatic stay that prevents anyone from continuing a lawsuit against you to collect a debt or to garnish your wages or to otherwise try to obtain payment from you for a debt. Now, there are, of course, exceptions to what the bankruptcy petition stays or stops from proceeding until the bankruptcy proceeding is completed. These things are such as child support, alimony, income taxes to the Internal Revenue, and things of that nature. But generally, the bankruptcy petition stops all of the proceedings against you. If you have a specific question about what's involved in filing a bankruptcy petition, we would strongly recommend that you hire the services of a bankruptcy attorney. This is a very complex and complicated area of law. I'm Robert Todd, and thank you for watching.

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