The bankruptcy court is a satellite court of the District Court of the United States. As the name suggests, the US District Court is divided into several districts, and each district has one or more bankruptcy courts that deal exclusively with bankruptcy cases.
Since bankruptcy is a federal matter, the district court has jurisdiction over all bankruptcies; however, it will typically transfer the case to the specialized court, unless it involves an unusually large quantity of debt.
While there are only 94 US District Courts, the number of bankruptcy court locations is significantly greater. Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tallahassee, Pensacola, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach are the eight cities in Florida. Typically, your case will be heard in the court that is closest to you.
Each bankruptcy court is permitted to have its own local rules under federal law. Since proceedings can vary from court to court, it is essential to retain an experienced bankruptcy attorney who practices in your state, as he or she will be more familiar with the local rules and how to work within them. This will help you obtain the best feasible settlement, which is essential when declaring bankruptcy.
On the day of your hearing, you will typically appear in front of the bankruptcy judge. Unless the judge seals your case, which is a rare occurrence, your hearing is public, just like any other court proceeding. Due to the fact that your case is open to the public, there may be reporters present at your hearing, particularly if you are a notable citizen or have an unusual debt.
Your attorney will present your case during the trial, and the judge will render a verdict at the conclusion. Even though the judge's decision is considered final, you may file an appeal with the United States District Court if you believe your case was unjustly decided.
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