Since Congress passed The Chandler Act in 1938, the ability to file for bankruptcy protection when you're struggling with debts is a legal right available to most American citizens. However, this right hasn't always been so secure. As The Gil Law Firm from Dothan, AL, explains, the current law has been shaped by several acts of Congress and landmark court cases won by attorneys dedicated to helping people get back on their feet.
In 1978, Congress passed the first major revision of bankruptcy law, commonly called Bankruptcy Code. One of the most important changes in this act was expanding the jurisdiction of bankruptcy court judges, which was challenged in the case of Northern Pipeline Co. v. Marathon Pipe Line Co. in 1982. When the case reached the Supreme Court, the justices ruled that the expansion of authority to these courts was unconstitutional, which led to further reforms in 1984.
In 2005, creditors gained a foothold in Congress, which passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act—making it more difficult for some people to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This law, most of which is still in effect, means that some debtors are subject to a means test before their bankruptcies can be approved. It also significantly limits the types of debt that can be discharged—most notably student loan debt.
The bankruptcy code is constantly changing, so if you live in Alabama and plan to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, call (334) 673-0100 to schedule a consultation with one of The Gil Law Firm's attorneys today. For more information on bankruptcy and your options for debt consolidation, visit The Gil Law Firm online.