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What happens when the bankruptcy is filed and what is an "estate"?

The commencement of a bankruptcy case creates an "estate."  The estate technically becomes the temporary legal owner of all the debtor's property.  The estate consists of all legal or equitable interests of the debtor in property as of the date the case is filed, including property owned or held by another person if the debtor has an interest in the property.  The "automatic stay" is immediately invoked at the instant the case is filed and it prohibits creditors from taking collection action against the debtor or the debtor's property without bankruptcy court approval.  The Court issues a Notice of Commencement advising all creditors and interested parties of the filing of the bankruptcy case.  This notice provides the case number, trustee information, date of the meeting of creditors, deadline to file a Proof of Claim (if applicable), and deadline to file an objection to discharge.

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