Steps of Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
- Your bankruptcy lawyer fills out the Chapter 13 forms with you
There are a few dozen pages of forms that must be filed with the court. These somewhat complicated forms disclose to the bankruptcy court:
- What property, debts, income, and expenses you have.
- The names of all your creditors,
- Which debts are disputed,
These forms are complex, and forgetting a creditor, missing an exemption, or other mistake or omission can result in serious consequences. So it is always best to have an experienced bankruptcy lawyer fill out your forms for you.
- Your bankruptcy lawyer files the forms
Filing your bankruptcy petition officially starts your case – and officially stops all collection actions. If you need an emergency filing – to stop a creditor or a foreclosure – you can also file just a two-page form, and then file the complete forms within 14 days.
The filing fee for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case is $310. This filing fees go directly to the Court – NOT in your lawyer’s pocket.
You (your lawyer) must file a repayment plan with the petition or within 14 days after the petition is filed, unless the court grants and extension.
- The automatic stay takes effect
Once you file bankruptcy, your creditors are barred from taking any actions to collect what you owe.
Keep in mind that they will only stop collection activities once they know (are notified) that you have filed bankruptcy. This may take a few days.
- The court appoints a trustee to oversee your case
The trustee is basically one person appointed by the court to represent the interests of all of your creditors. You will receive a Notice of Appointment of Trustee from the court.
- The court sends your creditors a Notice of Chapter 13 Case.
- Creditors file written objections to your bankruptcy plan, if they wish.
Creditors must file any objections to your proposed plan at least 25 days before the confirmation hearing
- You provide documents to the trustee
You must provide your most recent tax return to the trustee, as well as any other documents that they request as well. Many of these documents may involve proof of your income or your expenses (such as child support, etc.) These documents must be provided at least seven days before the scheduled date of the first meeting of creditors
- You begin making payments under your repayment plan. (If your plan is never approved, the trustee will return your money, less administrative costs.)
- Attend the meeting of the creditors with your bankruptcy lawyer
This is a meeting where the trustee – and any creditors who want to – can ask you and your lawyer about information in your papers.
Creditor may raise objections to your plan – and try to get you to modify it before the confirmation hearing.
- You file a modified plan, if necessary
Repayment plans can be modified any time before the confirmation hearing. You may need to modify your plan based on what you, the trustee and your creditors agreed upon.
- You or your attorney attends the confirmation hearing,
This is where the court addresses any objections raised by creditors or the trustee and approves your repayment plan.
- Creditors file their Proofs of Claim
This is where creditors specify how much you owe them. In some cases, your lawyer may also have to file Proofs of Claim for creditors who don’t file their own.
- You / your lawyer and/or the trustee files written objections to creditors’ claims, if any
- You give the trustee annual income and expense statements.
Every year while your Chapter 13 plan is in effect, if requested by the court, trustee, or a creditor you have to provide annual income and expense statements.
- You file a Certificate showing that you completed a course in personal financial management.
This must be done before you make your last re-payment plan payment.
- The court grants you a discharge.
After you make your final re-payment plan payment, there may also be a “discharge hearing.” If there is no discharge hearing, you will simply be mailed formal notice of your discharge.
Best Detroit Bankruptcy Attorneys
As you can see there are many complicated steps and a ot of paperwork involved with filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. And missing a step or failing to file the proper documents in the right amount of time can result in your Bankruptcy being dismissed by the court! For this reasoin it ios wise to consult with an experienced Derttroit area Bankruptcy attorney.
Our bankruptcy attorneys have helped hundreds of individuals in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne County file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, and get the financial relief that they need. We can help you, too.
Detroit Bankruptcy Attorney Free Consultation: 248-357-3000