Issues regarding the most effective tool of U.S. bankruptcy law
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This thesis addresses three areas in which there have been important developments concerning the automatic stay of the U.S. Bankruptcy law, provided by 11 U.S.C. § 362. The first part of the thesis addresses and analyses the question whether state courts have jurisdiction to determine their own jurisdiction when the automatic stay is at issue. The consensus, however, now seems to favor the traditional and correct view, that while bankruptcy courts alone have jurisdiction to lift or modify the stay, state courts, have jurisdiction to determine whether the stay does or does not cut off its jurisdiction to reach the merits of a case. The second topic is whether a state court has jurisdiction to impose sanctions for an alleged violation of the stay. The analysis, with the help of case laws will show that even if a state court or another federal court has jurisdiction to determine whether the stay applies, only the bankruptcy court where the case is pending has jurisdiction to impose sanctions for violating the stay. The third part of the thesis explains and analyses issues concerning repossession of property by a creditor before the filing of a bankruptcy petition.