Bankruptcy Case Closing Defined
Only a "municipality" can file for relief under chapter 9. The term "municipality" is defined in the Bankruptcy Code to mean a political subdivision or public agency or instrumentality of a State. The definition is broad enough to include cities, counties, townships, school districts, and public improvement districts. It also includes revenue-producing bodies that provide services that are paid for by users rather than by general taxes, such as bridge authorities, highway authorities, and gas authorities.
The Bankruptcy Code provides the statutory authority for compensating the services and reimbursing the expenses of officers of the estate. These claims are afforded first priority in the distribution of an estate. The Bankruptcy Code prescribes the standards according to which the amount of compensation is to be determined.
Debtors must report assets, liabilities, contested claims, and other business affairs. The purpose of these disclosures is to allow creditors an opportunity to evaluate proposed plans. Disclosure statements must contain "adequate information." The specific information required is determined on a case by case basis by the court and may include any information which the court deems reasonable and necessary for parties in interest to reach informed decisions before voting on plan confirmation.
The commencement of a voluntary, joint, or involuntary bankruptcy petition automatically creates an "estate." The estate is comprised of all the property that is described in section 541 of the Bankruptcy Code. It includes all legal or equitable interests of the debtor in property, wherever located, as of the commencement of the case. To determine a debtor's rights in property, a court examines state law.