Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Law Library

Researching Bankruptcy Law




This is a library research guide for those interested in learning more about bankruptcy law. It covers primary sources, secondary sources, and online sources. The secondary sources section also indicates which individual sources are most useful for practitioners, law students, and general users. 


Primary Sources



There are two primary sources in the law library for the U.S. Code in print:


  • U.S. Government Printing Office
    The U.S. Code is available online from the Government Printing Office. This site has general information about the code and tips on how to search it online. Users can go directly to Title 11 of the U.S. Code, which includes the Bankruptcy Code.  For accessing different versions of the U.S. Code,  users must select the year, and then they may select a particular title to browse.  



Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure in Print:

Available in print in the Core Collection of the law library.

  • USCA: located in the law core collection, in volumes following the Title 11 bankruptcy volumes.
  • USCS: located in the law core collection.  The bankruptcy rules are located within the Court Rules volumes towards the end of the set.
Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure Online
  • Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure 
    Cornell University Law School, Legal Information Institute. 
    A link is provided to information about the Interim Rules and Official Forms for the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005.
  • Local Rules of Court
    US Court webpage provides links to local rules of court for the United States Bankruptcy Courts.
    Provided alphabetically by state.
  • The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Arizona
    This webpage provides the Arizona Bankruptcy local rules.  Includes links to all rules together or links to individual rules. At the bottom of the page a limited number of sample forms are provided.



  • LexisNexis Academic:  For visitors in the library, LexisNexis Academic is available on the computers inside the reading room.  For additional assistance with searching cases on LexisNexis Academic, please consult a law librarian.
  • WestlawNext Patron Access: For visitors in the library, WestlawNext Patron Access is available on the computers inside the reading room.  For additional assistance with searching cases on WestlawNext Patron Access, please consult a law librarian.


  • Collier Bankruptcy Cases: Second Series
    by Irwin Hall, Managing Editor; Roy Babitt [et al.], Consulting Editors
    KF1524 .C62 1979
  • West's Bankruptcy Reporter
    KF1510.A2 W47
  • West's Bankruptcy Digest (latest received 2008)
    KF1510.3 .W47

Secondary Sources




Collier on Bankruptcy 
by Lawrence P. King, Editor-in-Chief
This is the preeminent treatise in the bankruptcy field. It is highly useful for practitioners and may be useful for law students or others looking for one resource that provides extensive information on the field.
KF1524 .C6 1996

The New Bankruptcy Code : Cases, Developments, and Practice Insights since BAPCPA 
by Sally McDonald Henry
This treatise is very helpful for practitioners looking for information on recent developments in the Bankruptcy Code (although a bit dated – it was published in 2007). It includes cases and frequently asked questions.
KF1511.597 .H46 2007

The Portable Bankruptcy Code & Rules
Current through 2009, this book contains the complete text of the United States Bankruptcy Code and the bankruptcy rules with forms.
KF1511.5968 .A2 

Bankruptcy and Related Law in a Nutshell
by David G. Epstein.
This resource is very useful for law students, in particular, as it breaks down important information about bankruptcy law in an easy-to-understand format.  
 KF1501.Z9 .E67 2005

Principles of Bankruptcy Law 
by David G. Epstein, Steve H. Nickles.
Current through 2007. This resource is designed for the law student, as it contains information that would be covered in a law school bankruptcy course. It includes information on both business and consumer bankruptcy, and explains bankruptcy concepts and how they relate to the bankruptcy code.
KF1524.3 .E67 2007

Bankruptcy Law and Practice
by Daniel R. Cowans, Mark C. Ellenberg, Elizabeth Van Horn, Russell W. Savory & Daniel R.Cowans
Current through 2004. This treatise includes official forms, tables of cases, tables of statutes, and an index volume. It would be a helpful resource for the bankruptcy practitioner.
KF1524 .C64 1998

Bankruptcy and Debtor/Creditor : Examples and Explanations
by Brian A. Blum
This book is designed for law students. It gives a wealth of information about bankruptcy along with helpful questions to test the student’s knowledge.
KF1524.3 .B58 2010 

Strategies for Creditors in Bankruptcy Proceedings 
by Lynn M. LoPuck and Christopher R. Mirick
This is a great resource for bankruptcy practitioners who represent creditors and are looking for a resource with practice tips and strategies. It contains information on Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 proceedings and discusses representing secured and unsecured creditors.
KF1524 .L57 2003, Suppl. 2006

Bankruptcy Law Manual  
by Nancy C. Dreher and Joan N. Feeney
This resource provides timely information regarding statutory changes and judicial decisions affecting bankruptcy issues, including consumer and business liquidation cases under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, business reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, Chapter 13 debt adjustments for individuals with regular income, alternative insolvency proceedings under state law, Bankruptcy Court jurisdiction and the right to a jury trial, the trustee's power to avoid fraudulent transfers and preferences, and assumption and rejection of executory contracts and leases. It also provides thousands of case citations for easy location of primary authority. This resource would be extremely useful for the bankruptcy practitioner.
KF1524 .W387   

Bankruptcy Practice for the General Practitioner
by W.H. Drake, Jr.
This practical guide covers all aspects of bankruptcy practice that a practitioner is likely to encounter in bankruptcy court. It also includes down-to-earth discussions, analysis, and summaries of every provision of the Bankruptcy Code to help the practitioner unravel one of the most intricate, lengthy statutes today, the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1994. Additionally, it includes coverage of noteworthy cases, court rules and more than 125 forms. Written in an easy-to-read format that reviews the Code by topic, not by section—to give the practitioner a working familiarity with the Code
KF1524 .D712

Consumer Bankruptcy Law and Practice
by Henry J. Sommer, John Rao, Editor 
This 2009 resource is a part of the “Debtor Rights Library” series and is useful for the practitioner who is representing consumers. Volume One contains a detailed and incisive analysis of consumer bankruptcy topics. Volume Two is packed with practice aids in the text and on the website: a client questionnaire, completed and annotated official forms, software to complete the forms, 170 pleadings, a date calculator, IRS forms, means test data, client handouts, and more. It provides all of the necessary information for filing a chapter 7, 12, or 13 bankruptcy.
KF1527 .S65 2009  

Bankruptcy Code, Rules, and Forms
This 2014 compact reference contains the current text of the Bankruptcy Code, Rules and Forms from Title 11, United States Code Annotated, as well as related provisions from Titles 18 and 28. It also includes amendments to the Bankruptcy Code (Title 11) complete with Bankruptcy Highlights written by the authors, recent amendments to the Bankruptcy Rules, Rules of Civil Procedure, and Federal Rules of Evidence, new statutory provisions, and new and revised Official and Procedural Bankruptcy Forms with comments and instructions. This is a very helpful resource for the practitioner, the law student, or anyone interested in an easy-to-use reference that has a wealth of relevant information concerning the Bankruptcy Code.
KF1511.596 .A2

Bankruptcy Deskbook
by William C. Hillman &  Margaret M. Crouch 2006.
This resource is designed to assist in both filing of bankruptcy actions and the defending of actions filed by trustees.  It is kept current through looseleaf updates.

Nolo Guides: The treatises listed below are very helpful for non-practitioners and the general public looking for information on bankruptcy.

How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
by Stephen Elias, Albin Renauer & Robin Leonard. 2007.
This resource is designed to be user-friendly and gives information, advice, and forms that assist an individual with actually filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. It gives an individual information on qualifying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and whether that is the individual’s best option. Further, it gives instructions on how to deal with common bankruptcy hassles such as wage garnishments, attachments, and how to rebuild your credit.
KF1524.6 .E4 2007

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Repay your Debts 
by Stephen Elias & Robin Leonard. 2006.
This resource discusses how to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and discusses strategies for using your income to repay debts over time and keeping your property away from creditors. It discusses foreclosures, qualifying for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, repayment plans, and self-representation before a bankruptcy court.  KF1524.6 .L46 2006


Research Databases

  • BNA: Bankruptcy Law Daily & Bankruptcy Reporter
    From the Law Library’s Research Now page listed under Recommended Databases remote access is available for law faculty and students. For visitors in the library, these publications are available on the computers inside the reading room. They provide daily information and news about issues in bankruptcy. Both resources contain information on current events, key cases, and related bankruptcy topics.
  • Legal Trac
    From the Law Library’s Research Now page listed under Recommended Databases remote access is available for law faculty and students. For visitors in the library, LegalTrac is available on the computers inside the reading room. LegalTrac is an index of articles in law journals. Users can search using the subject Bankruptcy.


Additional Internet Sources


United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Arizona 
This is the website for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Arizona. The site includes online help, resources and filing instructions. Includes local rules, filing fees, orders, a link to PACER and forms and publications.  It includes Judge's information, transcript order procedure, and court calendars.  Replete with information and a useful source for any patron or researcher looking for information about the statutes, rules and filing procedures in the District of Arizona.
Website available in Spanish also through a link on homepage.

United States Bankruptcy Courts 
This is the website for the United States Bankruptcy Courts. It includes general information and provides links to the 94 federal district courts which handle bankruptcy filings. The site has a "Bankruptcy Basics" section which explains the differences amongst the most common types of bankruptcy filings. There are online forms and links to pending changes to the bankruptcy forms and rules. Also includes videos on types of bankruptcy, limits of bankruptcy, filing for bankruptcy, creditors meeting, court hearings, discharge and legal assistance.

The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts 
The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts keeps quarterly bankruptcy statistics. Online resources include comparisons between years, types of bankruptcies filed, and within various time periods.

United States Securities and Exchange Commission
Website for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Information on what happens when public companies file for bankruptcy. Explanation of why a company would choose chapter 11 and how it works.

United States Department of Justice, United States Trustee Program
Webpage for the United States Trustee Program of the United States Department of Justice. Provides links to trustee locations, bankruptcy reform information, and statistics. Includes general information about the US bankruptcy system and current developments in the area.  Also provides information about credit counseling and debtor education.

Federal Trade Commission
This is the Federal Trade Commission consumer protection page which includes information for consumers on credit counseling and resources for debtor education. Includes links to the list of credit counseling agencies approved under 11 U.S.C. § 111. 

Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA)
This is the webpage for the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA). There is a guide to the act which was enacted to combat abuse for the bankruptcy system.

United States Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration
This is a webpage provided by the US Department of Labor.  It contains information about the effect on the benefits of an employee when their employer files for bankruptcy.

Internal Revenue Manual
This is the Internal Revenue Service's online access to the Internal Revenue Manual sections on bankruptcy.  It provides information on the impact filing bankruptcy has on tax collection.

American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI)
This is the website for the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI).  The site provides useful information for the bankruptcy practitioner. Some information is only available to members of the institute. It also includes statistics and the latest news about bankruptcy. There are links to the latest bankruptcy legislation. Links to the bankruptcy rules and bankruptcy code are also provided.

Nolo's bankruptcy information
This is Nolo's bankruptcy information page.  Nolo is a legal publisher known for providing legal information to consumers and small business.  Includes free information about the basics of bankruptcy and articles about bankruptcy.  It provides helpful information about what to file and which chapter to file under.

US Courts 
The US Courts provides downloadable forms and the Bankruptcy Forms Manual. Also includes links to related material including the bankruptcy courts and basic information about bankruptcy. Also included are links to procedural forms.

Bankruptcy Basics Videos by the Federal Judiciary
The Federal Judiciary Channel on YouTube has nine short (between two and five minutes) videos offering information on bankruptcy laws.  The videos give basic information on the bankruptcy process, the relief it offers, and how to find legal assistance.

The Bankruptcy Database Project
The Bankruptcy Database Project at Harvard reports bankruptcy data from public court records. The project counts filings under each chapter of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, commercial and noncommercial filings, and filings by legal entities and by individuals.

IRS Bankruptcy Tax Guide
This resource provides a wealth of information from the IRS regarding compliance with the Bankruptcy Code tax requirements. It has information on the tax implications of Chapter 7, 11, 12 and 13 bankruptcy filings.

Updated 05/014


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