The Basic Differences Between Chapter 7 and 11 Bankruptcy

A graduate of New York University School of Law, Nancy L. Kourland practices at Rosen & Associates, PC, in New York. Nancy L. Kourland has largely focused her career on bankruptcy litigation, and she often represents banks, debtors, and distressed companies dealing with Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In the United States, there are several types of bankruptcy, including Chapter 7 and Chapter 11. These may seem somewhat similar, but there are actually significant differences between them. Both can be filed by individuals, businesses, or married couples, but the average person tends to use Chapter 7, while businesses often use Chapter 11.

Chapter 7 is also called liquidation bankruptcy. The debtor does not have any additional obligation to most debts by the end of the process. However, it will typically not eliminate mortgages or car loans, school loans, child support, or tax debts, though there are some exceptions. During the legal process for this type, a trustee is given the responsibility of securing any assets and selling those that are not exempt.

When it comes to Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a debtor’s assets are not sold, nor is any of the debt wiped out. Sometimes called rehabilitation or reorganization bankruptcy, this type is often more involved than Chapter 7, resulting in debts being restructured so that a company or individual can stay afloat while paying back any loans. While a trustee is also assigned during Chapter 11 processes, the trustee simply helps debtors create a manageable repayment plan instead of selling their assets.


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Nancy Kourland

New York-based Attorney Nancy L. Kourland currently serves as a Senior Associate at Rosen & Associates, P.C., where she often represents debtors and creditors in workouts and chapter 11 cases. With extensive experience in complex legal research and writing, Nancy L. Kourland handles prosecution, appeals, asset sales, disclosure statements, and claims administration. Additionally, she maintains regular contact with clients and other counsel, while also focusing on bankruptcy and district court appearances. Prior to earning her Juris Doctor, Nancy L. Kourland attended Barnard College in New York, where she studied ancient studies and Latin. In 1984, she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts, earning many accolades, including consistent placement on the dean’s list and departmental honors. She then enrolled in the New York University School of Law. While there, she joined the staff of the Journal of International Law and Politics, functioning as both a staff member and an Articles Editor. Additionally, Nancy L. Kourland served as a Research Assistant for a year as well as a Teaching Assistant for a class called Civil Procedure. After graduating law school in 1987, Nancy L. Kourland joined the firm of Kronish, Lieb, Weiner & Hellman, LLP as an Associate in the bankruptcy department, where she garnered experience with chapter 11 cases. She held similar roles with Levin & Weintraub, Crames & Edelman and Kramer, Levin, Kamin, Nessen & Frankel. In 2008, she joined Satterlee Stephens Burke & Burke as a Contract Attorney and represented clients in the cases of Tricom, S.A, CardSystems Solutions, and Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc. In addition to practicing law, Nancy L. Kourland contributes her time to the Central Park Conservancy and the Carnegie Hill Neighbors, an organization dedicated to keeping the Carnegie Hill neighborhood a clean and satisfying place to live. She also donates to New York’s public radio station, WNYC, and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

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