Bankruptcy can help a person by discarding debt or making a plan to repay debts. A bankruptcy case normally begins when the debtor files a petition with the bankruptcy court. A petition may be filed by an individual, by spouses together, or by a corporation or other entity. All bankruptcy cases are handled in federal courts under rules outlined in the U.S. Bankruptcy. The goal in filing bankruptcy is to get a fresh start and stop creditor harassment, including lawsuits, telephone calls and threatening letters. Seeking the advice of a qualified lawyer is strongly recommended because bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal consequences.