The timeline of a typical Chapter 13 bankruptcy case is three to five years by federal law. This is the second part of an article detailing the timeline of a Chapter 13 case. Please see Part One here.
- Thirty days after the case is filed, the debtor must commence making Chapter 13 plan payments to the Chapter 13 clearinghouse in Memphis, Tennessee. Each month for the duration of the Chapter 13 plan term, debtors must make plan payments as scheduled.
- Approximately four to five weeks after the bankruptcy case is filed, a “341 Meeting,” which is a meeting of the debtor’s creditors (named after the code section of the Bankruptcy Code that requires it), will occur in front of the Chapter 13 trustee. While the meeting is typically very brief, bankruptcy debtors are required to attend. Debtors who fail to attend may have their bankruptcy case dismissed. Debtors are permitted to be represented by their attorney at the meeting. The Chapter 13 Trustee will ask questions that must be answered under penalty of perjury. Finally, the trustee will ask if any creditors are present who “wish to be heard” by asking a question or making a statement. Surprisingly, few ever appear, but it is always possible. At this meeting, the Chapter 13 trustee may request additional documentation that a debtor must provide without delay.
- Approximately sixty days after the 341 Meeting, the deadline for any creditors and the trustee to object to any property exemptions claimed by the debtor or whether any or all debts should be discharged will expire. This deadline will appear on the notice of the bankruptcy filing that the court sends to creditors.
- Approximately 30 days after the 341 Meeting, a hearing to confirm the Chapter 13 Plan before the judge assigned to the case will occur. Debtors are not required to attend this hearing, provided they are represented by an attorney. At this time all plan payments, which will already have commenced, must be current, all documentation provided to the Trustee, and all objections resolved. Once a Chapter 13 case is confirmed, the Chapter 13 Plan moves from a proposed or tentative status to being final. It may not be amended or modified by any creditor.
- Chapter 13 debtors continue to pay their plan payments for a period of three to five years. The Chapter 13 Trustee will provide access to its website so case progress may be monitored by debtors and their attorneys. The Morrison Law Group helps debtors regularly stay current with their case as we conduct our daily services for clients. The Chapter 13 Trustee will provide annual reports from the trustee by mail with any reports of case status.
- Chapter 13 Debtors must provide their federal and state tax returns annually to the Chapter 13 Trustee throughout their case.
- The attorneys at the Morrison Law Group assist our clients throughout the life of a Chapter 13 case and are always available to answer any questions or concerns that our clients may have.
- A Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney may suspend plan payments for a short time if the situation necessitates it. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney may also request court permission for debtors to purchase vehicles, real estate, or other property.
- Finally, debtors must take a second round of credit counseling, which is a financial management course that may be taken online. Although this may be taken at a debtor’s convenience, the court will not issue a Chapter 13 discharge order discharging debts until this course is completed. The Morrison Law Group may help debtors with this requirement.
- Once all Chapter 13 plan payments are made within three to five years from the initial date of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, shortly thereafter, the bankruptcy court will issue a Chapter 13 discharge order, thereby officially eliminating any dischargeable debts.
Talk to Theron Morrison and the Morrison Law Group about the timeline of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases to better understand your bankruptcy options. 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.