A Brief and Concise Overview of the Chapter 13 Process
The Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Process
The chapter 13 process can be complicated and rife with many potential pitfalls. Chapter 13 is a type of bankruptcy in which the debtor proposes a plan to repay creditors over a specific amount of time.
The Petition And Repayment Plan
Chapter 13 begins with the filing of a voluntary petition. Though also required, the schedules and plan may be filed at a later date. These documents provide a detailed accounting of the debtor’s assets and liabilities. The chapter 13 plan will also provide a roadmap for how the debtor proposes to repay each debt.
The repayment period is usually three (3) or five (5) years. During the length of the plan, the debtor is required to make monthly plan payments to the standing chapter 13 trustee to which the bankruptcy case is assigned. In turn, the chapter 13 trustee distributes the payments to the creditors noted in the plan. The payment that each creditor receives from the chapter 13 trustee will depend on the type and amount of the debt it is owed.
Subsequent to the filing of the plan, schedules, and other required documents, the bankruptcy court will schedule a meeting of creditor or “341.” At the meeting of creditors, the chapter 13 trustee will ask the debtor a number of questions regarding their schedules and finances. Creditors are also allowed to appear at the meeting of creditors and ask the debtor questions. However, creditors commonly forego appearing at the meeting and instead raise their objections during the plan confirmation process.
The plan confirmation process may take place over a few months. During this time, the debtor’s chapter 13 plan may periodically change based on the outcome of rulings on various motions, objections, and negotiations with the creditors and feedback from the chapter 13 trustee. Once the chapter 13 plan has been confirmed, it becomes binding. The only way to change the terms of the repayment plan while in bankruptcy is by asking the court for permission.
Once the debtor has fully complied with all the terms of the confirmed chapter 13 plan (or as modified by the Court), the debtor will receive a discharge. A discharge means that the debtor is not obligated to repay these debts. It is important to know that certain debts may not be dischargeable.
Contact Loan Lawyers For Bankruptcy Assistance
Loan Lawyers has provided bankruptcy assistance for thousands of South Florida residents over the years. Our Fort Lauderdale bankruptcy attorneys are experienced, dedicated, and fully committed to looking out for our clients’ best interests. Contact us for a free consultation today.