Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Case: SEQUENCE OF EVENTS IN A SUCCESSFUL SIMPLE CHAPTER 13 CASE
1. “COUNSELLING.” The Debtor individually obtains his FIRST Credit Counseling Certificate from an “approved credit counseling agency” within 180 days of filing: “THE TICKET IN” [see Item 12. For “THE TICKET OUT”]. In almost all circumstances, a Case cannot be filed without this Certificate.
2. FILING. he Debtor’s Petition, including the Credit Counseling Certificate, is electronically filed with the Court. A Case Number is generated upon filing. There are two Chapter 13 Trustees— Terry E. Smith and John M. Waage. Shortly after the Case Number is generated, the Debtor will be randomly assigned one of them, as well as one of the five Bankruptcy Judges.
3. NOTICE & DOCUMENTS. The Official Form B9I— “Notice of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Case, Meeting of Creditors, & Deadlines”—– is sent by the Bankruptcy Court Noticing Center by U.S. Mail to the Debtor, Debtor’s Counsel, and all of the entities listed on the Mailing Matrix that the Debtor have signed. This Form, which should be received within 10 days after the Petition is filed, will contain the Debtor’s Case Number, Trustee Information, and the Date and Time of the Meeting of Creditors. The Debtor must send copies of various documents to his assigned Trustee to be received no later than 7 days prior to the Meeting of Creditors. These documents include, but are not limited to, copies of complete tax returns for the past two prior years; 6 months’ of pay stubs and records of all financial accounts; deeds to real property in which the Debtor have an ownership interest; titles or registration of motor vehicles in which the Debtor has an ownership interest.
4. INITIAL ORDERS AND ADVISEMENTS. The assigned Judge in the Case will issue an Order Establishing Duties, governing the Debtor’s demeanour. The Chapter Trustee will issue a payment information sheet for Plan payments, which the Debtor must commence remitting 30 days after the Case is filed.
5. “MEETING OF CREDITORS.” Under 11.USC §341 the “Meeting of Creditors” will be scheduled 20 to 40 days after the date of filing. It will be presided over by a staff attorney from the Chapter 13 Trustee’s Office or by the Chapter 13 Trustee assigned to the Debtor’s Case. The Meeting shall be held at 501 East Polk Street (the “Timberlake Annex”), in Room 100-A, 100-B, or 100-C. The Official Notice in Item 3 will designate the room number. Subject to a security search upon entering the building, the Debtor should then proceed straight to that room and take a seat—- not wait in the antechamber. The Debtor is required to present a valid, current, picture I.D. in order to be admitted to the Annex, as well as official proof of social security number at the Meeting. This “Meeting” is docketed to last approximately 6 ½ Minutes. Nothing dispositive happens at this Meeting. The Debtor presents himself to the Trustee for questioning regarding the Petition that has been filed on his behalf. Any creditor or party in interest also has the right to question the Debtor regarding the subject-matter of the Schedules filed in the Case. Then the Meeting is adjourned. Shortly thereafter the Trustee’s Office will issue a Praecipe—– an initial opinion as to whether it favours Confirmation of the Proposed Plan, as well as any other requirement it deems suitable to permit the proposed Plan to be confirmed.
6. PRE CONFIRMATION PERIOD: DEADLINE TO OBJECT TO DEBTOR’S EXEMPTIONS. This occurs 30 days after the Meeting of Creditors.
7. PRE CONFIRMATION PERIOD: DEADLINE FOR GENERAL CREDITORS TO FILE A PROOF OF CLAIM. This occurs 90 days after the Meeting of Creditors.
8. PRE CONFIRMATION PERIOD: DEADLINE FOR A GOVERNMENTAL UNIT TO FILE A PROOF OF CLAIM. This occurs 120 days after the Meeting of Creditors. [In practice, however, the Taxing Authorities are allowed more leeway.]
9. PRE CONFIRMATION PERIOD: DEADLINE TO FILE CERTAIN MOTIONS AND OBJECTIONS TO CLAIMS. By not more than thirty (30) days after the Claims Bar Date, or within fourteen (14) days after the filing of a late-filed claim or an amended claim, the Debtor shall, if necessary under the circumstances of the Case, do one or more of the following: (a) file an amended Plan, if the plan has not been confirmed; (b) file a motion to determine the secured status of a claim; (c) file a motion to avoid a lien that may be required to be avoided to obtain confirmation; (d) file a motion to modify a confirmed Plan; or (e) object to the claims that should be disallowed; (e) file a proof of claim on behalf over a creditor who has not filed one as per FRBP 3004.
10. CONFIRMATION HEARING & ORDER CONFIRMING PLAN. Approximately 60 days after the Meeting of Creditors the Debtor’s Proposed or Amended Plan is presented to the assigned Judge for consideration. If the Chapter 13 Trustee is sufficiently satisfied with the Plan to recommend confirmation and there no outstanding issues or objections remain that require resolution at the Hearing, the assigned Judge will confirm the Plan. The Debtor is usually excused from attendance. In practice, however, the Plan is rarely confirmed at the first Confirmation Hearing. Some reasons are as follows: key creditors have not filed Proofs of Claim; the Debtor may not yet have acceded to additional requests or performed certain actions requisite to confirmation. Therefore, it is not uncommon, in the current environment, for the Confirmation Hearing to be “continued” several times.
11. PLAN PERFORMANCE. Subsequent to the Confirmation of the Plan, The Chapter 13 Trustee shall distribute the accrued pre-confirmation payments and the post-confirmation payments on a monthly basis, in accordance with the Order Confirming Plan. This Order embodies the final Plan as modified and confirmed by the Court at the Confirmation Hearing. The Order will identify the creditor classes provided for and paid under the confirmed Plan, in his extent and order of priority.
12. DISCHARGE. Occurs upon the Debtor’s successful completion of the Plan, according to its terms. The Debtor will receive official notification of Same from the Bankruptcy Court. However, in order to receive a Discharge, the Debtor must complete a “personal financial management course” given by an “approved credit counseling agency” and receive a second “Counselling” Certificate: “THE TICKET OUT.” This Certificate, along with the Debtor’s signed certification is then electronically filed by the Debtor’s attorney with the Court. It is strongly recommended that this Course be completed as soon as possible after the filing of the Case. In addition, the Debtor must file Official Form B-283—- an additional Certification regarding Domestic Support Obligations—– no earlier than 6 months prior to the date of expected completion of plan payments.