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11 U.S. Code § 301 - Voluntary cases

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A voluntary case under a chapter of this title is commenced by the filing with the bankruptcy court of a petition under such chapter by an entity that may be a debtor under such chapter.
The commencement of a voluntary case under a chapter of this title constitutes an order for relief under such chapter.
Historical and Revision Notes
legislative statements

Sections 301, 302, 303, and 304 are all modified in the House amendment to adopt an idea contained in sections 301 and 303 of the Senate amendment requiring a petition commencing a case to be filed with the bankruptcy court. The exception contained in section 301 of the Senate bill relating to cases filed under chapter 9 is deleted. Chapter 9 cases will be handled by a bankruptcy court as are other title 11 cases.

senate report no. 95–989

Section 301 specifies the manner in which a voluntary bankruptcy case is commenced. The debtor files a petition under this section under the particular operative chapter of the bankruptcy code under which he wishes to proceed. The filing of the petition constitutes an order for relief in the case under that chapter. The section contains no change from current law, except for the use of the phrase “order for relief” instead of “adjudication.” The term adjudication is replaced by a less pejorative phrase in light of the clear power of Congress to permit voluntary bankruptcy without the necessity for an adjudication, as under the 1898 act [former title 11], which was adopted when voluntary bankruptcy was a concept not thoroughly tested.

Editorial Notes

2005—Pub. L. 109–8 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), struck out “The commencement of a voluntary case under a chapter of this title constitutes an order for relief under such chapter.” at end, and added subsec. (b).

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Effective Date of 2005 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 109–8 effective 180 days after Apr. 20, 2005, and not applicable with respect to cases commenced under this title before such effective date, except as otherwise provided, see section 1501 of Pub. L. 109–8, set out as a note under section 101 of this title.