The tools of trade are items that are exempt from attachment under bankruptcy law or from seizure.
The exemption exists in many jurisdictions. For examples:
All of these owe this exemption to the provisions for bankrupts that existed in English common law before it was codified by statute.
What exactly constitute one's tools of trade comes down to case law,and the case law of the United States exemplifies how complex such case law often is. Farmers have claimed mechanical cream separators. A professional forest guide claimed his canoe as exempt, but was not allowed to claim his rifle. A car used only for commuting to work is not a tool of the trade, but a motor vehicle can be, including a farm tractor. Breeding stock can be, as can be a logging truck and trailer. However, some cases have limited the exemption to personal hand tools and not large machinery or power tools.
Under the Courts Act 2003, "such tools, books, vehicles and other items of equipment as are necessary to the execution debtor for use personally by him in his employment, business or vocation" are exempted from seizure under a writ of execution issued from the High Court.Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, "such tools, books, vehicles and other items of equipment as are necessary for use personally in the defendant's employment, business or vocation" are exempted from seizure under section 47C(1) of that Act.
Bankruptcy is a legal process through which people or other entities who cannot repay debts to creditors may seek relief from some or all of their debts. In most jurisdictions, bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by the debtor.
Personal bankruptcy law allows, in certain jurisdictions, an individual to be declared bankrupt. Virtually every country with a modern legal system features some form of debt relief for individuals. Personal bankruptcy is distinguished from corporate bankruptcy.
In the United States, bankruptcy is governed by federal law, commonly referred to as the "Bankruptcy Code" ("Code"). The United States Constitution authorizes Congress to enact "uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States". Congress has exercised this authority several times since 1801, including through adoption of the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978, as amended, codified in Title 11 of the United States Code and the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA).
Insolvency is the state of being unable to pay the debts, by a person or company (debtor), at maturity; those in a state of insolvency are said to be insolvent. There are two forms: cash-flow insolvency and balance-sheet insolvency.
The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA) is a legislative act that made several significant changes to the United States Bankruptcy Code. Referred to colloquially as the "New Bankruptcy Law", the Act of Congress attempts to, among other things, make it more difficult for some consumers to file bankruptcy under Chapter 7; some of these consumers may instead utilize Chapter 13.
A fraudulent conveyance, or fraudulent transfer, is an attempt to avoid debt by transferring money to another person or company. It is generally a civil, not a criminal matter, meaning that one cannot go to jail for it, but in some jurisdictions there is potential for criminal prosecution. It is generally treated as a civil cause of action that arises in debtor/creditor relations, particularly with reference to insolvent debtors. The cause of action is typically brought by creditors or by bankruptcy trustees.
Bankruptcy in the United Kingdom is divided into separate local regimes for England and Wales, for Northern Ireland, and for Scotland. There is also a UK insolvency law which applies across the United Kingdom, since bankruptcy refers only to insolvency of individuals and partnerships. Other procedures, for example administration and liquidation, apply to insolvent companies. However, the term 'bankruptcy' is often used when referring to insolvent companies in the general media.
The Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (the Act) is one of the statutes that regulates the law on bankruptcy and insolvency in Canada. It governs bankruptcies, consumer and commercial proposals, and receiverships in Canada.
The Enterprise Act 2002 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which made major changes to UK competition law with respect to mergers and also changed the law governing insolvency bankruptcy. It made cartels illegal with a maximum prison sentence of 5 years and states that level of competition in a market should be the basis for investigation.
An unfair preference is a legal term arising in bankruptcy law where a person or company transfers assets or pays a debt to a creditor shortly before going into bankruptcy, that payment or transfer can be set aside on the application of the liquidator or trustee in bankruptcy as an unfair preference or simply a preference.
As a legal concept, administration is a procedure under the insolvency laws of a number of common law jurisdictions, similar to bankruptcy in the United States. It functions as a rescue mechanism for insolvent entities and allows them to carry on running their business. The process – in the United Kingdom colloquially called being "under administration" – is an alternative to liquidation or may be a precursor to it. Administration is commenced by an administration order.
Bankruptcy Act is a stock short title used for legislation in Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States relating to bankruptcy. The Bill for an Act with this short title will usually have been known as a Bankruptcy Bill during its passage through Parliament.
The Parliament of Canada has exclusive jurisdiction to regulate matters relating to bankruptcy and insolvency, by virtue of s.91 of the Constitution Act, 1867. It has passed the following statutes as a result:
Bankruptcy in Irish Law is a legal process, supervised by the High Court whereby the assets of a personal debtor are realised and distributed amongst his or her creditors in cases where the debtor is unable or unwilling to pay his debts.
The Bankruptcy Act 1861 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
British Virgin Islands bankruptcy law is principally codified in the Insolvency Act, 2003, and to a lesser degree in the Insolvency Rules, 2005. Most of the emphasis of bankruptcy law in the British Virgin Islands relates to corporate insolvency rather than personal bankruptcy. As an offshore financial centre, the British Virgin Islands has many times more resident companies than citizens, and accordingly the courts spend more time dealing with corporate insolvency and reorganisation.
Bankruptcy in Florida is made under title 11 of the United States Code, which is referred to as the Bankruptcy Code. Although bankruptcy is a federal procedure, in certain regards, it looks to state law, such as to exemptions and to define property rights. The Bankruptcy Code provides that each state has the choice whether to "opt in" and use the federal exemptions or to "opt out" and to apply the state law exemptions. Florida is an "opt out" state in regard to exemptions. Bankruptcy in the United States is provided for under federal law as provided in the United States Constitution. Under the federal constitution, there are no state bankruptcy courts. The bankruptcy laws are primarily contained in 11 U.S.C. 101, et seq. The Bankruptcy Code underwent a substantial amendment in 2005 with the "Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005", often referred to as "BAPCPA". The Bankruptcy Code provides for a set of federal bankruptcy exemptions, but each states is allowed is choose whether it will "opt in" or "opt out" of the federal exemptions. In the event that a state opts out of the federal exemptions, the exemptions are provided for the particular exemption laws of the state with the application with certain federal exemptions.
Cayman Islands bankruptcy law is principally codified in five statutes and statutory instruments:
Anguillan bankruptcy law regulates the position of individuals and companies who are unable to meet their financial obligations.
Cross-border insolvency regulates the treatment of financially distressed debtors where such debtors have assets or creditors in more than one country. Typically, cross-border insolvency is more concerned with the insolvency of companies that operate in more than one country rather than bankruptcy of individuals. Like traditional conflict of laws rules, cross-border insolvency focuses upon three areas: choice of law rules, jurisdiction rules and enforcement of judgment rules. However, in relation to insolvency, the principal focus tends to be the recognition of foreign insolvency officials and their powers.
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