What Power Does a Bankruptcy Judge Have?

If you’re filing for bankruptcy you will quickly realize that your future and financial health is now in the hands of somebody else. For some people this is a huge relief because they’ve been so burdened and stressed by their own inability to handle their finances that letting go provides a sense of freedom. For others giving up financial control is stressful and causes even more emotional pain. So let’s look at how much power a bankruptcy judge actually has.

 First of all, it’s important to realize that a bankruptcy judge is not necessarily the end of the line, which can be good news or bad news. But if you or one of your creditors feels that their decision was extremely unjust then they can press to have it reviewed by a federal judge and in some cases even the United States Supreme Court.

 Also, bankruptcy judges have a sort of built in checks and balances in that their term is only 14 years. Now 14 years is admittedly a long time but when their term comes up they need to be reappointed by a federal court and there is strength in numbers, when enough people or creditors band together they have successfully prevented the renewal of some bankruptcy judges.

 On a very personal basis, your bankruptcy judge will decide what debts of yours are exempt and which ones will be discharged. They’ll decide which assets you have that should be sold to repay creditors and which ones really aren’t worth selling. In other words, they have a lot of power over your financial future so it’s key that you have a bankruptcy attorney from Allmand Law represent you in bankruptcy court.