Under the Bankruptcy Code, a voluntary or involuntary case is commenced by filing a petition with the bankruptcy court. A Chapter 7 or 11 bankruptcy case may be initiated by a voluntary filing by the debtor or by an involuntary filing by the debtor’s creditors. Cases under all other chapters may be initiated only by a voluntary petition.
Chapter 12 provides that a standing trustee will be appointed in each case, but in the ordinary course, actual operation of the farm will remain with the debtor. Additionally, the debtor, as debtor in possession, has all rights, responsibilities, and powers, as would a debtor in possession under Chapter 11. Chapter 12 does not provide for the appointment of creditors’ committees.
Chapter 12 is a part of a federal law called the Bankruptcy Code. Debtors and the United States Bankruptcy Courts must follow its provisions. Each Chapter applies to a different type of debtor. For example, Chapter 13 applies to consumers or individual debtors, with regular income who want to repay their debts under a bankruptcy plan. Chapter 12 applies to certain family farmers.
The Bankruptcy Code requires an entity in possession, custody, or control of property of the estate, including exempt property, to deliver that property to the trustee, unless the property is of inconsequential value to the estate.
The Bankruptcy Code governs the use, sale, or lease of property in bankruptcy. The trustee may use, sell, or lease the property of the estate other than in the ordinary course of business only after notice and a hearing. If the business of the debtor is authorized to be operated under Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, or Chapter 13, the trustee or debtor-in-possession may, without notice or hearing, use, sell, or lease property of the estate in the ordinary course of business.