also failure and insolvency a legal procedure for dealing with debt problems of individuals and business. A non-technical term for a legal state of insolvency (Glossary of Common Bankruptcy Terms)

A legal procedure for dealing with debt problems of individuals and businesses; specifically, a case filed under one of the chapters of title 11 of the United States Code (the Bankruptcy Code). (

The state of being bankrupt. (Dictionary of Canadian Bankruptcy Terms)

(see also failure and insolvency)
a non-technical term for a legal state of insolvency. (Common Bankruptcy Terms)

To put it in simple terms Bankruptcy refers to when a person or more often a business can no longer turn a profit and basically has no capital (money) flowing to pay suppliers or run the company. They have no cash left. This usually coincides with lots of debt and unpaid loans, which were used in hope of salvaging the business but just escalated its financial problems.
Bankruptcy can occur for many reasons and from big corporations to small sole traders. It can be because of general poor management, a downturn in the economy, bad expansions, fraud & other legal issues as well as putting all their faith in one product, which eventually becomes unpopular or irrelevant due to technological advancements.
If a business gets itself in this position they will go in to what is known as "liquidation" where their assets are frozen and used to make the business liquid again (in other words get the cash flowing again). Usually a court will instigate this in order to help the business pay off their debts. For example if a restaurant went bankrupt they may sell all of their tables, chairs and cooking appliances to cover the costs owed to their suppliers.
Somebody may declare themselves bankrupt because they see no way out or a supplier may take them to court in order to force them in to bankruptcy because they haven't paid their bills. Unfortunately the creditors may only get a percentage of what is owed to them depending on how much money can be realistically raised during the liquidation process.
After filing for bankruptcy you get a big black mark beside your name, making it considerably hard to obtain any kind of loan or partake in financial deals. Although the records will eventually be wiped it can cause issues for a number of years as lenders and other businesses will be reluctant and wary of working with you.
Although some people see bankruptcy as a way to make money even if they are not actually bankrupt this is considered fraud and a crime. It is also fraudulent to hide assets and withhold certain information during the liquidation process. Registering with false information is also often classed as perjury another serious crime. (Financial Dictionary)

United Glossary of Bankruptcy Terms 2012.

Glossary of Bankruptcy.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • bankruptcy — bank·rupt·cy / baŋ ˌkrəp sē/ n pl cies 1: the quality or state of a bankrupt filed for bankruptcy 2: the administration of an insolvent debtor s property by the court for the benefit of the debtor s creditors the debt was discharged in bankruptcy …   Law dictionary

  • Bankruptcy — Bank rupt*cy, n.; pl. {Bankruptcies}. 1. The state of being actually or legally bankrupt. [1913 Webster] 2. The act or process of becoming a bankrupt. [1913 Webster] 3. Complete loss; followed by of. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bankruptcy — 1700, from BANKRUPT (Cf. bankrupt), probably on the analogy of insolvency, but with t erroneously retained in spelling, instead of being merged in the suffix .... [OED]. Figurative use from 1761 …   Etymology dictionary

  • bankruptcy — [n] inability to pay debts Chapter 11*, defalcation, default, destituteness, destitution, disaster, exhaustion, failure, indebtedness, indigence, insolvency, lack, liquidation, loss, nonpayment, overdraft, pauperism, privation, repudiation, ruin …   New thesaurus

  • bankruptcy — [baŋkrupt΄sē, baŋkrəp sē] n. pl. bankruptcies 1. the state or an instance of being bankrupt 2. complete failure; ruin …   English World dictionary

  • Bankruptcy — Notice of closure attached to the door of a computer store the day after its parent company declared bankruptcy (strictly, put into administration see text) in the United Kingdom. Bankruptcy is a legal status of an insolvent person or an… …   Wikipedia

  • bankruptcy — /bangk rupt see, reuhp see/, n., pl. bankruptcies. 1. the state of being or becoming bankrupt. 2. utter ruin, failure, depletion, or the like. [1690 1700; BANKRUPT + CY] * * * Status of a debtor who has been declared by judicial process to be… …   Universalium

  • Bankruptcy — State of being unable to pay debts. Thus, the ownership of the firm s assets is transferred from the stockholders to the bondholders. The New York Times Financial Glossary * * * bankruptcy bank‧rupt‧cy [ˈbæŋkrʌptsi] noun bankruptcies PLURALFORM… …   Financial and business terms

  • bankruptcy — Inability to pay debts. In bankruptcy of a publicly owned entity, the ownership of the firm s assets is transferred from the stockholders to the bondholders. Bloomberg Financial Dictionary Legal status of a company unable to pay creditors.… …   Financial and business terms

  • Bankruptcy — A legal proceeding involving a person or business that is unable to repay outstanding debts. The bankruptcy process begins with a petition filed by the debtor (most common) or on behalf of creditors (less common). All of the debtor s assets are… …   Investment dictionary

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