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College of Law

Bankruptcy Law

Course Number: 6620
Professor: Elaine A. Welle
Credit Hours & Type of Credit: 3
Semester Offered: Spring
Required: No
Prerequisites: Students must have completed their first year of law school.
Recommended Courses: Secured Transactions is strongly recommended, but not a prerequisite. If you are planning to take Secured Transactions, please take Secured Transactions before you take Bankruptcy Law.

Course Overview: The Bankruptcy Law course (formerly Creditors' Rights) investigates legal and practical problems regarding the rights of both creditors and debtors. It begins with a brief survey of state law remedies available to creditors. These include judgment execution and related proceedings, which provide for seizure and sale of a debtor's property, avoidance of a debtor's fraudulent transfer of property, and other remedies provided by state law. This portion of the course also considers limitations on creditor actions to recover debt payment.

The majority of the course deals with the bankruptcy laws. Bankruptcy is governed by federal law (the Bankruptcy Code) which creates a system of "bankruptcy courts" whose sole function is the handling of bankruptcy cases. These cases include not only situations in which the assets of a debtor are sold and the proceeds distributed to creditors (a liquidation), but also those in which the debtor retains its assets and works out a plan to pay its debts in part or in full (a reorganization).

The course is taught primarily through the use of practice-oriented problems. The problems are designed to examine legal issues in a realistic commercial context and to reflect the type of problems an attorney might actually confront in practice.

Course Materials: See the current Book List located under Courses and Curriculum.
Course Format: A problem approach is used in this course to reinforce an understanding of the legal doctrines and to emphasize the practical effect of bankruptcy law on a lawyer's day-to-day practice.
Written Assignments: The instructor reserves the right to request students to hand in answers to homework problems or other assignments on a periodic basis.
Type of Exam: Three-hour essay exam (or one-hour essay mid-term exam and two-hour essay final exam).
Basis for Grading Student Performance: Class participation and attendance are very important. Points will be added to or subtracted from your final grade based on your attendance and the quality of your participation in class on the days that you are called upon and for other days that you participate.
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