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Legal Environment

Chapter 14

TermDefinition
Affidavit A statement of facts confirmed by the oath or affirmation of the party making it and made before a person having the authority to administer the oath or affirmation.
Artisan’s Lien A possessory lien on personal property of another person to ensure payment to a person who has made improvements on and added value to that property.
Attachment The legal process of seizing another’s property under a court order to secure satisfaction of a judgment yet to be rendered.
Automatic Stay A suspension of all judicial proceedings on the occurrence of an independent event.
Co-Surety One who assumes liability jointly with another surety for the payment of an obligation.
Consumer-Debtor One whose debts result primarily from the purchases of goods for personal, family, or household use.
Cram-Down Provision A provision of the Bankruptcy Code that allows a court to confirm a debtor’s Chapter 11 reorganization plan even though only one class of creditors has accepted it.
Creditors’ Composition Agreement An agreement formed between a debtor and his or her creditors in which the creditors agree to accept a lesser sum than that owed by the debtor in full satisfaction of the debt.
Debtor in Possession (DIP) In Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, a debtor who is allowed to continue in possession of the estate in property (the business) and to continue business operations.
Discharge he termination of a debtor’s obligation.
Estate in Property All of the property owned by a person, including real estate and personal property.
Garnishment A legal process whereby a creditor appropriates a debtor’s property or wages that are in the hands of a third party.
Guarantor A person who agrees to satisfy the debt of another (the debtor) only if and when the debtor fails to pay the debt.
Homestead Exemption A law allowing an owner to designate his or her house (and adjoining land) as a homestead and thus exempt it from liability for his or her debt.
Lien A claim against specific property to satisfy a debt.
Liquidation The sale of the assets of a business or an individual for cash and the distribution of the cash received to creditors, with the balance going to the owner(s).
Mechanic’s Lien A statutory lien on the real property of another created to ensure priority of payment for work performed.
Order for Relief A court’s grant of assistance to a complainant. In bankruptcy proceedings, the order relieves the debtor of the immediate obligation to pay the debts listed in the bankruptcy petition.
Petition in Bankruptcy The document that is filed with a bankruptcy court to initiate bankruptcy proceedings.
Preference In bankruptcy proceedings, a property transfer or payment made by the debtor that favors one creditor over others.
Preferred Creditor A creditor who has received a preferential transfer from a debtor.
Reaffirmation Agreement An agreement between a debtor and a creditor in which the debtor voluntarily agrees to pay a debt dischargeable in bankruptcy.
Reorganization A plan for the readjustment of a corporation and its debts, the submission of the plan to a bankruptcy court, and the court’s approval or rejection of the plan.
Right of Contribution The right of a co-surety who pays more than her or his proportionate share on a debtor’s default to recover the excess paid from other co-sureties.
Right of Reimbursement The legal right of a person to be repaid or indemnified for costs, expenses, or losses incurred or expended on behalf of another.
Right of Subrogation The right of a person to stand in the place of (be substituted for) another, giving the substituted party the same legal rights against the debtor that the creditor had.
Secured Creditor A lender or seller who has a security interest in collateral that secures a debt.
Surety A third party who agrees to be primarily responsible for the debt of another.
Suretyship An express contract in which a third party (the surety) promises to be primarily responsible for a debtor’s obligation to a creditor.
U.S. Trustee A government official who performs certain administrative tasks that a bankruptcy judge would otherwise have to perform.
Unsecured Creditor A creditor whose debt is not backed by any collateral.
Workout An out-of-court agreement between a debtor and creditors that establishes a payment plan for discharging the debtor’s debts.
Writ of Attachment A writ used to enforce obedience to an order or judgment of the court.
Writ of Execution A writ that puts in force a court’s decree or judgment.
Created by: sfrase