When the unexpected occurs in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, it may be necessary to amend or modify a Chapter 13 plan. Technically, modify and amend both mean different things in the context of a bankruptcy case, but they both address changing the Chapter 13 plan in some way.
After a Chapter 13 case begins, debtors may get laid off, sick, divorced, or experience some unexpected expense like a major motor vehicle repair, which may cause them to miss a Chapter 13 plan payment. At this time, it may be possible to amend a plan to become current on plan payments within a few months.
Debtors who file Chapter 13 cases are required to file a repayment plan that details the treatment and payment of certain debts that they are reorganizing. An experienced bankruptcy attorney like Theron Morrison may help any bankruptcy debtor prepare a Chapter 13 plan that optimally reorganizes his or her financial affairs.
Two weeks within the filing of the bankruptcy case, Chapter 13 debtors must file a proposed Chapter 13 repayment plan. At this time, creditors and the trustee are given a window of time to consider and object to the plan.
When this window of time passes, debtors must be in a position to have their Chapter 13 plan finalized or confirmed in bankruptcy jargon. Debtors must resolve any objections before confirmation. Debtors may resolve objections through a stipulated order confirming the Chapter 13 plan.
Since a Chapter 13 bankruptcy lasts from three to five years, it is only logical that there is a reasonable likelihood that a debtor’s life circumstances may change during this time. Events such as job loss, illness, or some other emergency may affect a debtor’s ability to afford plan payments. If this occurs, you may request the court to change a Chapter 13 plan so that it is affordable based on the debtor’s true disposable income after the case is filed.
Amended Plan (modification before confirmation)
Depending on the Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, it may take from a few months to over a year until the Chapter 13 plan is confirmed. If circumstances change during this time, it may be necessary to file an amended plan. Then, if payments are resumed accordingly, the court will confirm this latest version of the plan.
Modified Plan (modification after confirmation)
Once a plan has been confirmed, debtors may file a motion to request to modify the plan. Debtors must provide an explanation as to the change in circumstances, such as a job loss or a reduction of income, that merits the change.
Individuals considering bankruptcy as a debt relief solution often assume that bankruptcy will not provide the necessary help in a timely enough fashion to be truly effective and worthwhile. This could not be farther from the truth and is a myth of bankruptcy. It is important to consult with an experienced Utah bankruptcy attorney, such as one of the many qualified attorneys at the Morrison Law Group who can explain the process and timeline of both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases. Call 801.456.9933 today to schedule a FREE consultation. We have locations in Ogden, Logan, Sandy, and St. George to serve the residents of the counties of Weber, Cache, Salt Lake, Utah, Morgan, Davis, Washington, and surrounding areas.