Subchapter I Creditors and Claims
Subchapter II Debtor’S Duties and Benefits
Subchapter III The Estate

Terms Used In U.S. Code > Title 11 > Chapter 5

  • Advice and consent: Under the Constitution, presidential nominations for executive and judicial posts take effect only when confirmed by the Senate, and international treaties become effective only when the Senate approves them by a two-thirds vote.
  • Affidavit: A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it, before a notary or officer having authority to administer oaths.
  • Affirmed: In the practice of the appellate courts, the decree or order is declared valid and will stand as rendered in the lower court.
  • Allegation: something that someone says happened.
  • Amendment: A proposal to alter the text of a pending bill or other measure by striking out some of it, by inserting new language, or both. Before an amendment becomes part of the measure, thelegislature must agree to it.
  • Amortization: Paying off a loan by regular installments.
  • Annual percentage rate: The cost of credit at a yearly rate. It is calculated in a standard way, taking the average compound interest rate over the term of the loan so borrowers can compare loans. Lenders are required by law to disclose a card account's APR. Source: FDIC
  • Annuity: A periodic (usually annual) payment of a fixed sum of money for either the life of the recipient or for a fixed number of years. A series of payments under a contract from an insurance company, a trust company, or an individual. Annuity payments are made at regular intervals over a period of more than one full year.
  • Answer: The formal written statement by a defendant responding to a civil complaint and setting forth the grounds for defense.
  • Appeal: A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the appellant.
  • Appellate: About appeals; an appellate court has the power to review the judgement of another lower court or tribunal.
  • applicant: means :

    (A) an educational institution. See 42 USC 300gg–12

  • Appropriation: The provision of funds, through an annual appropriations act or a permanent law, for federal agencies to make payments out of the Treasury for specified purposes. The formal federal spending process consists of two sequential steps: authorization
  • Arctic: means all United States and foreign territory north of the Arctic Circle and all United States territory north and west of the boundary formed by the Porcupine, Yukon, and Kuskokwim Rivers. See 42 USC 300aa–16
  • Arrest: Taking physical custody of a person by lawful authority.
  • Assets: (1) The property comprising the estate of a deceased person, or (2) the property in a trust account.
  • association: when used in reference to a corporation, shall be deemed to embrace the words "successors and assigns of such company or association" in like manner as if these last-named words, or words of similar import, were expressed. See 19 USC 2295
  • Attachment: A procedure by which a person's property is seized to pay judgments levied by the court.
  • Balanced budget: A budget in which receipts equal outlays.
  • Bankruptcy: Refers to statutes and judicial proceedings involving persons or businesses that cannot pay their debts and seek the assistance of the court in getting a fresh start. Under the protection of the bankruptcy court, debtors may discharge their debts, perhaps by paying a portion of each debt. Bankruptcy judges preside over these proceedings.
  • Baseline: Projection of the receipts, outlays, and other budget amounts that would ensue in the future without any change in existing policy. Baseline projections are used to gauge the extent to which proposed legislation, if enacted into law, would alter current spending and revenue levels.
  • Beneficiary: A person who is entitled to receive the benefits or proceeds of a will, trust, insurance policy, retirement plan, annuity, or other contract. Source: OCC
  • Bequest: Property gifted by will.
  • Bureau: means the Bureau of the Census. See 42 USC 300ff–19
  • Common law: The legal system that originated in England and is now in use in the United States. It is based on judicial decisions rather than legislative action.
  • Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
  • Continuance: Putting off of a hearing ot trial until a later time.
  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • corporation: includes associations, joint-stock companies, and insurance companies. See 38 USC 1912
  • Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
  • county: includes a parish, or any other equivalent subdivision of a State or Territory of the United States. See 19 USC 2292
  • Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
  • Decedent: A deceased person.
  • Deed: The legal instrument used to transfer title in real property from one person to another.
  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Dependent: A person dependent for support upon another.
  • Devise: To gift property by will.
  • Discovery: Lawyers' examination, before trial, of facts and documents in possession of the opponents to help the lawyers prepare for trial.
  • Dismissal: The dropping of a case by the judge without further consideration or hearing. Source:
  • Docket: A log containing brief entries of court proceedings.
  • domestic: when applied to a corporation or partnership means created or organized in the United States or under the law of the United States or of any State unless, in the case of a partnership, the Secretary provides otherwise by regulations. See 38 USC 1912
  • domestic company: means a company which is substantially involved in the United States domestic production, processing, or use of steel, aluminum, copper, or other metals and has a substantial percentage of its operations located within the United States. See 42 USC 300ff–64
  • Embezzlement: In most states, embezzlement is defined as theft/larceny of assets (money or property) by a person in a position of trust or responsibility over those assets. Embezzlement typically occurs in the employment and corporate settings. Source: OCC
  • employee: shall include a full-time life insurance salesman who is considered an employee for the purpose of chapter 21. See 38 USC 1912
  • Entitlement: A Federal program or provision of law that requires payments to any person or unit of government that meets the eligibility criteria established by law. Entitlements constitute a binding obligation on the part of the Federal Government, and eligible recipients have legal recourse if the obligation is not fulfilled. Social Security and veterans' compensation and pensions are examples of entitlement programs.
  • Equal Credit Opportunity Act: Prohibits creditors from discriminating against credit applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or because an applicant receives income from a public assistance program. Source: OCC
  • Equitable: Pertaining to civil suits in "equity" rather than in "law." In English legal history, the courts of "law" could order the payment of damages and could afford no other remedy. See damages. A separate court of "equity" could order someone to do something or to cease to do something. See, e.g., injunction. In American jurisprudence, the federal courts have both legal and equitable power, but the distinction is still an important one. For example, a trial by jury is normally available in "law" cases but not in "equity" cases. Source: U.S. Courts
  • Escrow: Money given to a third party to be held for payment until certain conditions are met.
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Ex officio: Literally, by virtue of one's office.
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act: A federal law, established in 1971 and revised in 1997, that gives consumers the right to see their credit records and correct any mistakes. Source: OCC
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act: The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a set of United States statutes added as Title VIII of the Consumer Credit Protection Act. Its purpose is to ensure ethical practices in the collection of consumer debts and to provide consumers with an avenue for disputing and obtaining validation of debt information in order to ensure the information's accuracy. It is often used in conjunction with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Source: OCC
  • Fair market value: The price at which an asset would change hands in a transaction between a willing, informed buyer and a willing, informed seller.
  • fastener: means a metallic screw, nut, bolt, or stud having internal or external threads, with a nominal diameter of 6 millimeters or greater, in the case of such items described in metric terms, or ¼ inch or greater, in the case of such items described in terms of the English system of measurement, or a load-indicating washer, that is through-hardened or represented as meeting a consensus standard that calls for through-hardening, and that is grade identification marked or represented as meeting a consensus standard that requires grade identification marking, except that such term does not include any screw, nut, bolt, stud, or load-indicating washer that is--

    (A) part of an assembly. See 42 USC 300gg–19

  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: A government corporation that insures the deposits of all national and state banks that are members of the Federal Reserve System. Source: OCC
  • Federal Reserve System: The central bank of the United States. The Fed, as it is commonly called, regulates the U.S. monetary and financial system. The Federal Reserve System is composed of a central governmental agency in Washington, D.C. (the Board of Governors) and twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks in major cities throughout the United States. Source: OCC
  • Fee simple: Absolute title to property with no limitations or restrictions regarding the person who may inherit it.
  • Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
  • Fiduciary: A trustee, executor, or administrator.
  • Fiscal year: The fiscal year is the accounting period for the government. For the federal government, this begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, fiscal year 2006 begins on October 1, 2005 and ends on September 30, 2006.
  • Foreclosure: A legal process in which property that is collateral or security for a loan may be sold to help repay the loan when the loan is in default. Source: OCC
  • foreign: when applied to a corporation or partnership means a corporation or partnership which is not domestic. See 38 USC 1912
  • foreign trust: means any trust other than a trust described in subparagraph (E) of paragraph (30). See 38 USC 1912
  • Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
  • Garnishment: Generally, garnishment is a court proceeding in which a creditor asks a court to order a third party who owes money to the debtor or otherwise holds assets belonging to the debtor to turn over to the creditor any of the debtor
  • Gift: A voluntary transfer or conveyance of property without consideration, or for less than full and adequate consideration based on fair market value.
  • Grace period: The number of days you'll have to pay your bill for purchases in full without triggering a finance charge. Source: Federal Reserve
  • Guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.
  • hazardous financial condition: means that, based on its present or reasonably anticipated financial condition, a risk retention group is unlikely to be able--

    (A) to meet obligations to policyholders with respect to known claims and reasonably anticipated claims. See 42 USC 300x–58

  • including: when used in a definition contained in this title shall not be deemed to exclude other things otherwise within the meaning of the term defined. See 38 USC 1912
  • individual: shall include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development. See 19 USC 2297
  • individual retirement plan: means --

    (A) an individual retirement account described in section 408(a), and

    (B) an individual retirement annuity described in section 408(b). See 38 USC 1912

  • industry: means the industries identified by codes numbered 3321, 3322, 3324, 3325, 3363, 3364, 3365, 3366, and 3369, in the Standard Industrial Classification manual 1 published by the Office of Management and Budget in 1987. See 42 USC 300gg–12
  • Injunction: An order of the court prohibiting (or compelling) the performance of a specific act to prevent irreparable damage or injury.
  • insurance: means primary insurance, excess insurance, reinsurance, surplus lines insurance, and any other arrangement for shifting and distributing risk which is determined to be insurance under applicable State or Federal law. See 42 USC 300x–58
  • Intangible property: Property that has no intrinsic value, but is merely the evidence of value such as stock certificates, bonds, and promissory notes.
  • Interest rate: The amount paid by a borrower to a lender in exchange for the use of the lender's money for a certain period of time. Interest is paid on loans or on debt instruments, such as notes or bonds, either at regular intervals or as part of a lump sum payment when the issue matures. Source: OCC
  • Joint resolution: A legislative measure which requires the approval of both chambers.
  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • Jurisprudence: The study of law and the structure of the legal system.
  • Lease: A contract transferring the use of property or occupancy of land, space, structures, or equipment in consideration of a payment (e.g., rent). Source: OCC
  • Liabilities: The aggregate of all debts and other legal obligations of a particular person or legal entity.
  • Lien: A claim against real or personal property in satisfaction of a debt.
  • Lineal descendant: Direct descendant of the same ancestors.
  • Litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
  • Magistrate judges: Judicial officers who assist U.S. district judges in getting cases ready for trial, who may decide some criminal and civil trials when both parties agree to have the case heard by a magistrate judge instead of a judge.
  • Majority leader: see Floor Leaders
  • manufacturer: means a person who fabricates fasteners for sale in commerce. See 42 USC 300gg–19
  • marriage: means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word "spouse" refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife. See 19 USC 2296
  • Minority leader: See Floor Leaders
  • Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
  • Mortgage: The written agreement pledging property to a creditor as collateral for a loan.
  • Mortgage loan: A loan made by a lender to a borrower for the financing of real property. Source: OCC
  • Mortgagor: The person who pledges property to a creditor as collateral for a loan and who receives the money.
  • National Bank: A bank that is subject to the supervision of the Comptroller of the Currency. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is a bureau of the U.S. Treasury Department. A national bank can be recognized because it must have "national" or "national association" in its name. Source: OCC
  • National Credit Union Administration: The federal regulatory agency that charters and supervises federal credit unions. (NCUA also administers the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, which insures the deposits of federal credit unions.) Source: OCC
  • oath: includes affirmation, and "sworn" includes affirmed. See 19 USC 2291
  • Obligation: An order placed, contract awarded, service received, or similar transaction during a given period that will require payments during the same or a future period.
  • officer: includes any person authorized by law to perform the duties of the office. See 19 USC 2291
  • Open-end credit: A credit agreement (typically a credit card) that allows a customer to borrow against a preapproved credit line when purchasing goods and services. The borrower is only billed for the amount that is actually borrowed plus any interest due. (Also called a charge account or revolving credit.) Source: OCC
  • Oral argument: An opportunity for lawyers to summarize their position before the court and also to answer the judges' questions.
  • Oversight: Committee review of the activities of a Federal agency or program.
  • partner: includes a member in such a syndicate, group, pool, joint venture, or organization. See 38 USC 1912
  • partnership: includes a syndicate, group, pool, joint venture, or other unincorporated organization, through or by means of which any business, financial operation, or venture is carried on, and which is not, within the meaning of this title, a trust or estate or a corporation. See 38 USC 1912
  • Partnership: A voluntary contract between two or more persons to pool some or all of their assets into a business, with the agreement that there will be a proportional sharing of profits and losses.
  • person: shall be construed to mean and include an individual, a trust, estate, partnership, association, company or corporation. See 38 USC 1912
  • Personal property: All property that is not real property.
  • Plaintiff: The person who files the complaint in a civil lawsuit.
  • Point of order: A claim made by a legislator from the floor that a rule of the legislature is being violated. If the Chair sustains the point of order, the action in violation of the rule is not permitted.
  • possession: includes , among other possessions, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. See 42 USC 201
  • President pro tempore: A constitutionally recognized officer of the Senate who presides over the chamber in the absence of the Vice President. The President Pro Tempore (or, "president for a time") is elected by the Senate and is, by custom, the Senator of the majority party with the longest record of continuous service.
  • Probate: Proving a will
  • Public debt: Cumulative amounts borrowed by the Treasury Department or the Federal Financing Bank from the public or from another fund or account. The public debt does not include agency debt (amounts borrowed by other agencies of the Federal Government). The total public debt is subject to a statutory limit.
  • Public law: A public bill or joint resolution that has passed both chambers and been enacted into law. Public laws have general applicability nationwide.
  • purchasing group: means any group which--

    (A) has as one of its purposes the purchase of liability insurance on a group basis. See 42 USC 300x–58

  • Quorum: The number of legislators that must be present to do business.
  • Quorum call: A call of the roll to establish whether a quorum is present. If any legislator "suggests the absence of a quorum," the presiding officer must direct the roll to be called.
  • Ranking minority member: The highest ranking (and usually longest serving) minority member of a committee or subcommittee.
  • Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act: Federal law that, among other things, requires lenders to provide "good faith" estimates of settlement costs and make other disclosures regarding the mortgage loan. RESPA also limits the amount of funds held in escrow for real estate taxes and insurance. Source: OCC
  • Real property: Land, and all immovable fixtures erected on, growing on, or affixed to the land.
  • Remainder: An interest in property that takes effect in the future at a specified time or after the occurrence of some event, such as the death of a life tenant.
  • Remand: When an appellate court sends a case back to a lower court for further proceedings.
  • Rescission: The cancellation of budget authority previously provided by Congress. The Impoundment Control Act of 1974 specifies that the President may propose to Congress that funds be rescinded. If both Houses have not approved a rescission proposal (by passing legislation) within 45 days of continuous session, any funds being withheld must be made available for obligation.
  • research plan: means the Steel Initiative Research Plan issued in April 1988 by the Department of Energy, and updates to that plan. See 42 USC 300ff–64
  • respondent: includes a corporation, company, association, firm, partnership, proprietorship, society, joint stock company, individual, or other organization or entity which reported information, or on behalf of which information was reported, in response to a questionnaire, inquiry, or other request of the Bureau. See 42 USC 300ff–19
  • Restitution: The court-ordered payment of money by the defendant to the victim for damages caused by the criminal action.
  • risk retention group: means any corporation or other limited liability association--

    (A) whose primary activity consists of assuming, and spreading all, or any portion, of the liability exposure of its group members. See 42 USC 300x–58

  • Secretary: means the Secretary of Commerce. See 42 USC 300ff–19
  • Secretary: means the Secretary of the Treasury or his delegate. See 38 USC 1912
  • Secretary: means the Secretary of Energy. See 42 USC 300ff–64
  • Secretary: means the Secretary of Energy. See 42 USC 300gg–12
  • Secretary: means the Secretary of Health and Human Services. See 42 USC 201
  • Service: means the Public Health Service. See 42 USC 201
  • Settlement: Parties to a lawsuit resolve their difference without having a trial. Settlements often involve the payment of compensation by one party in satisfaction of the other party's claims.
  • shareholder: includes a member in an association, joint-stock company, or insurance company. See 38 USC 1912
  • State: shall be construed to include the District of Columbia, where such construction is necessary to carry out provisions of this title. See 38 USC 1912
  • State: means any State of the United States or the District of Columbia. See 42 USC 300x–58
  • State: includes , in addition to the several States, only the District of Columbia, Guam, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. See 42 USC 201
  • Statute: A law passed by a legislature.
  • Statute of limitations: A law that sets the time within which parties must take action to enforce their rights.
  • stock: includes shares in an association, joint-stock company, or insurance company. See 38 USC 1912
  • Subpoena: A command to a witness to appear and give testimony.
  • taxable year: means the calendar year, or the fiscal year ending during such calendar year, upon the basis of which the taxable income is computed under subtitle A. See 38 USC 1912
  • taxpayer: means any person subject to any internal revenue tax. See 38 USC 1912
  • temporary: shall be construed to mean not in excess of one year, or not in excess of the specific period during which appropriations are available for the conduct of a particular census, whichever is longer. See 42 USC 300ff–34
  • Testator: A male person who leaves a will at death.
  • Testimony: Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.
  • Tort: A civil wrong or breach of a duty to another person, as outlined by law. A very common tort is negligent operation of a motor vehicle that results in property damage and personal injury in an automobile accident.
  • trade or business: includes the performance of the functions of a public office. See 38 USC 1912
  • transaction: includes a series of transactions. See 38 USC 1912
  • Transcript: A written, word-for-word record of what was said, either in a proceeding such as a trial or during some other conversation, as in a transcript of a hearing or oral deposition.
  • Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
  • Trustee: A person or institution holding and administering property in trust.
  • Truth in Lending Act: The Truth in Lending Act is a federal law that requires lenders to provide standardized information so that borrowers can compare loan terms. In general, lenders must provide information on Source: OCC
  • Uniform Commercial Code: A set of statutes enacted by the various states to provide consistency among the states' commercial laws. It includes negotiable instruments, sales, stock transfers, trust and warehouse receipts, and bills of lading. Source: OCC
  • United States: when used in a geographical sense includes only the States and the District of Columbia. See 38 USC 1912
  • Uphold: The decision of an appellate court not to reverse a lower court decision.
  • Usury: Charging an illegally high interest rate on a loan. Source: OCC
  • Variable Rate: Having a "variable" rate means that the APR changes from time to time based on fluctuations in an external rate, normally the Prime Rate. This external rate is known as the "index." If the index changes, the variable rate normally changes. Also see Fixed Rate.
  • vehicle: includes every description of carriage or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on land. See 19 USC 2294
  • vessel: includes every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water. See 19 USC 2293
  • whoever: include corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, as well as individuals. See 19 USC 2291
  • Writ: A formal written command, issued from the court, requiring the performance of a specific act.
  • Writ of certiorari: An order issued by the Supreme Court directing the lower court to transmit records for a case for which it will hear on appeal.
  • writing: includes printing and typewriting and reproductions of visual symbols by photographing, multigraphing, mimeographing, manifolding, or otherwise. See 19 USC 2291