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Bankruptcy Law Research: Statutes

This guide provides links and descriptions to many of the resources related to bankruptcy law that are available, including print resources, subscription databases and free internet sources.

Free Access to the Code

Guides to the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005

Understanding Bankruptcy Reform 2005: What Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys Need to Know About the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention & Consumer Protection Act 2005 by David J. Light  LRP Publications, 2006. 10th floor KF1524 L54 2005

Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005: Law and Explanation by Sheila M. Williams CCH Inc., 2005.  10th floor - KF1501.A7 W45 2005


Bankruptcy Code

Title 11 of the United States Code is also known as the Bankruptcy Code.  The Bankruptcy Code is divided into the following chapters:

The Code is available in a number of resources and formats. 


Bankruptcy Code, Rules and Forms (West) 10th floor KF1511.596 .A2  Includes text of Code, with limited historical notes

The Portable Bankruptcy Code & Rules (ABA Business Law Section). 10th floor  KF1511.596 .A2 2012

Annotated Statutes

Annotated versions of the U.S. Code code are useful tools for researchers because they provide a brief legislative history and citations to cases and other secondary sources that interpret the code sections.  U.S. Code Annotated (U.S.C.A.) is available via Westlaw and U.S. Code Service (U.S.C.S.) is available via Lexis.  Print versions of the U.S.C.A. and U.S.C.S. are available on the 9th floor of the library. 


The text of the code as well as section by section analysis are included in the major bankruptcy treatises.

State Statutes

Federal law primarly governs bankruptcy law, but some states including Illinois have adopted "opt-out" legislation that requires debtors to use state exemption statutes rather than the exemptions provided in the Bankruptcy Code.

The Illinois exemptions can primarily be found at 735 ILCS 5/12-1001, but other exemptions are found throughout the bankruptcy provisions of the Illinois Compiled Statutes.   The Illinois Compiled Statutes Annotated are located on the 9th floor of the library and are available via Bloomberg Law, Lexis and Westlaw.  A free version of the ILCS is provided from the IL General Assembly at

For an overview of state exemption laws and citations to the exemption statutes of other states see Collier on Bankruptcy.