This debt dictionary page was created to define and answer basic questions some of our clients have had in the past. Leinart Law Firm provides legal solutions for debt in the Dallas and Fort Worth area and with more than 15 years of experience, we have the knowledge and expertise that are required for you to gain real financial solutions. If you don’t find the answers you’re looking on this bankruptcy FAQs page, we are only a call away from an appointment.

341 meeting
A meeting of creditors at which the debtor is questioned under oath by creditors, a trustee, examiner, or the United States trustee about his/her financial affairs.
Adversary Proceeding
A lawsuit within the Bankruptcy Case which is commonly used by creditors to object to discharging a particular debt.


Account Rendered
An account presented by a creditor to a debtor for examination and settlement.
1) the entire property of a person, business organization, or estate that is subject to the payment of debts used in pl.

2) an item of property owned

An agreement to continue performing duties under a contract or lease.
Automatic Stay
In Bankruptcy law, an automatic stay is a court-mandated injunction that halts any repossession or foreclosure action by secured creditors trying to re-claim the property securing the loan. As soon as a bankruptcy petition is filed (in most cases), the automatic stay is in place and the debtor is protected from collections, repossession or foreclosure action by the creditor, as long as the terms of the Bankruptcy plan are abided by. The creditor may petition the court to have this protection removed but must show just-cause to do so. If a debtor had a case dismissed within the year immediately preceding the current filing, there are additional legal actions that must take place to keep the stay in place.
Bankruptcy Definition
Bankruptcy is a legally declared inability or impairment of ability of an individual or organization to pay its creditors. Creditors may file a bankruptcy petition against a debtor (“involuntary bankruptcy”) in an effort to recoup a portion of what they are owed or initiate a restructuring. In the majority of cases, however, bankruptcy is initiated by the debtor (a “voluntary bankruptcy” that is filed by the insolvent individual or organization).
Bankruptcy Mill
A business not authorized to practice law that provides bankruptcy counseling and prepares bankruptcy petitions.
Bankruptcy Trustee
An officer of the court in whom ownership of a debtor’s property is vested for the benefit of the creditors and who administers the property for the purpose of making payments to the creditors according to the priority of their claims: as

1) the trustee in a chapter 7 or chapter 11 case who is charged with duties that include collecting the property comprising the bankruptcy estate and reducing it to money for payment of claims

2) the trustee in a chapter 12 or chapter 13 case who is charged with duties that include distributing payments made by the debtor in accordance with a confirmed plan called also bankruptcy trustee

Chapter 13 Trustee
A person appointed to administer a chapter 13 case. (A chapter 13 trustee’s responsibilities are similar to those of a chapter 7 trustee; however, a chapter 13 trustee has the additional responsibilities of overseeing the debtor’s plan, receiving payments from debtors, and disbursing plan payments to creditors.)
A creditor’s assertion of a right to payment from a debtor or the debtor’s property.
Property that guarantees payment of a secured debt.
Consumer Bankruptcy
A bankruptcy case filed to reduce or eliminate debts that are primarily consumer debts.
Consumer Credit
Credit extended by merchants or banks to finance the purchase of consumer goods (as home appliances) or services (as travel or hotel accommodations).
Credit Rating
The credit rating is an assessment of corporate or personal credit history, which evaluates how likely the company or the person is to default on their loan obligations. The credit ratings are assigned by independent credit rating agencies.
Current Monthly Income
CMI is the average monthly gross income earned in the previous six months prior to filing for bankruptcy. CMI can include financial assistance or gifts received from relatives, income from jobs, or spouse’s income during this period – even if he or she is not filing for bankruptcy.
Debt Adjustment
The arrangements made for the repayment or satisfaction of debts in an amount or manner that differs from the original arrangements esp. in accordance with a bankruptcy plan under chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code.
Debt Service
The amount of interest and principal payments due annually on long-term debt.
The legal elimination of debt through a bankruptcy case. When a debt is discharged, it is no longer legally enforceable against the debtor, though any lien which secures the debt may survive the bankruptcy case.
1) a right, claim, or interest existing or valid in equity

2) the money value of a property or of an interest in property in excess of any claims or liens (as mortgage indebtedness) against it

3) a risk interest or ownership right in property

specif: the ownership interests of shareholders in a company

4) the common stock of a corporation

Executory Contract or Lease
Generally includes contracts or leases under which both parties to the agreement have duties remaining to be performed. (If a contract or lease is executory, a debtor may assume it or reject it.)
Exemptions are the lists of the kinds and values of property that is legally beyond the reach of creditors or the bankruptcy trustee. The debtor in bankruptcy keeps the exempt property. What property may be exempted is determined by state and federal statutes, and varies from state to state.
Foreclosure Definition
Foreclosure is the process by which a lender can recover, or repossess, a real estate property from the mortgagee (owner). If the mortgagee has defaulted on payments to the lender, the lender may begin formal foreclosure proceedings whereby the property is ultimately sold to satisfy the lien. Other parties may have a right to foreclose on a property as well. Home owner’s associations, taxing authorities and other vendors may ultimately hold the right to foreclosure to satisfy their claims against a property as well.
Fraudulent Transfer
A transfer of a debtor’s property made with intent to defraud or for which the debtor receives less than the transferred property’s value.
Home Equity Loan
A type of loan in which the borrower uses the equity in their home as collateral. A home equity loan creates a lien against the borrower’s house, and reduces actual home equity.
Homestead Exemption
An exemption from liability that prevents creditors from obtaining satisfaction from a debtor’s homestead

The laws governing the homestead exemption vary greatly from state to state. Most states have limits on the amount for which a debtor is exempted, but a few have no limits at all. Others have limits that are dependent on the size or type of property, or the age of the property owner.

Impaired Claims
Claims which will have their contractual rights modified or which will be paid less than the full value under a Chapter 11 reorganization.
Internal Revenue Service
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the United States federal government agency that collects taxes and enforces the internal revenue laws. It is an agency within the U.S. Department of the Treasury and is responsible for interpretation and application of Federal tax law.
Joint Petition
One bankruptcy petition filed by a husband and wife together.
Judgment Creditor
A creditor who has a money judgment entered against the debtor and may enforce the judgment (as by attachment or writ of execution)
An interest in real or personal property which secures a debt; the lien may be voluntary, such as a mortgage in real property, or involuntary, such as a judgment lien or tax lien.
A sale of a debtor’s property with the proceeds to be used for the benefit of creditors.