Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding where a person or company who is having difficulty meeting financial obligations can obtain a fresh start. The right to file for bankruptcy is provided by federal law, and all bankruptcy proceedings are handled in federal bankruptcy court. Filing bankruptcy generally stops most creditors from seeking to collect debts. The goal of most debtors is to obtain a discharge order from the bankruptcy judge. The discharge order has the effect of releasing the debtor from many forms of debt that were incurred prior to the bankruptcy filing.