Bankruptcy is a federal court process where an individual or business files for bankruptcy in order to eliminate and/or pay off outstanding debts. There are six types of bankruptcy proceedings, referred to by the chapter of the federal bankruptcy code: chapter 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, and 15. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there is a "look back period" -- which is the period 90 days prior to filing the bankruptcy petition -- where the bankruptcy trustee can examine all information to determine if there were any unacceptable transfers of money or assets.
Purpose of the Look Back Period
The look back period is designed to let the trustee determine if the debtor transferred any assets to a third party before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For example, suppose a debtor paid back a loan to a family member or transferred a property out of his name right before filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. These types of actions are prohibited. The look back period can be increased further than 90 days if an improper transfer is discovered within the standard 90 days prior to filing the bankruptcy. The trustee can then sue the debtor or third party to recover the improperly transferred assets.
- United States Courts: Bankruptcy: Chapter 7
- Koh Law Firm, LLC: Bankruptcy
- Bryan P. Keenan & Associates, PC: Bankruptcy FAQs
- American Bankruptcy Institute. "Annual Business and Non‐business Filings by Year (1980‐2019)." Accessed Sep. 8, 2020.
- United States Code. "11 U.S. Code CHAPTER 7—LIQUIDATION." Accessed Sep. 8, 2020.
- United States Code. "11 USC 727: Discharge." Accessed Sep. 8, 2020.
- U.S. Department of Justice. "Means Test." Accessed Sep. 8, 2020.
- United States Bankruptcy Court. "Case No. 17-11883 (MG)," Pages 2-4. Accessed Sep. 8, 2020.
Based in Lake Mary, Fla., Charity Tober writes mainly on finance, career, interior decorating, parenting and weddings. Tober has also self-published two children's picture books. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from the University of Florida.