What happens if you decide to file a chapter 13 bankruptcy case with us? First you will have met with a Newnan bankruptcy lawyer – in this case me – Rick Palmer. At your meeting we will go over all of your options to resolve your debt issues. In this example, you’ve decided to file a chapter 13 case.
We provide you with numerous tools to help get the required information together. You case will be assigned to one of our bankruptcy paralegals who will work on your case with me from start to finish. The paralegals do much of the heavy lifting of putting all of the information you provide into our systems that produce your chapter 13 bankruptcy petition.
We will carefully review your budget, the value of your cars, the dates of purchase of your cars, and several other important considerations, because unlike a chapter 7 bankruptcy case, we must determine how to put your chapter 13 bankruptcy plan together. The chapter 13 bankruptcy plan put simply, is how much you must pay to the chapter 13 trustee and for how long (typically between 3 and 5 years). Of course, it is more complicated, but the payment is generally the main concern for you, the client. It is important to note that your chapter 13 plan payments are required to start 30 days after you file your case!
Once our paralegals prepare your petition and I’ve prepared your plan, I review both petition and plan one last time to be sure your situation still meets the criteria for a chapter 13 bankruptcy case. If it passes my review, then we send it on to you and you are required to review the petition for accuracy. Once we all agree that the petition correctly reflects your financial situation, then we schedule a signing appointment and you meet with us to sign for petition and we go over any last questions you may have. We will also go over your plan in detail. You must understand how and when to pay the chapter 13 trustee.
After you sign your bankruptcy petition, we file your case electronically. The bankruptcy clerk then sends out the filing notification to your creditors and assigns a date for your 341 meeting of creditors where you will go over your petition with the chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee.
A week or so after the 341 meeting, the chapter 13 trustee will typically file his list of objections to your case. They can be as few as two or three or in a complicated case there can be more. Our job then is to determine how best to resolve the objections. Generally, the objections are more questions requiring additional information to prove what we’ve put in the petition or plan and are easily resolved. Other times they are related to the plan itself and may require some adjustments to the plan payments and/or to the client’s budget.
Once any objections are resolved, then your case is ready for confirmation. The bankruptcy clerk assigns a day for your confirmation hearing shortly after your case is filed. We try and get all objections resolved by your confirmation date, but often it isn’t possible and the date is reset. It is a common occurrence and won’t affect the outcome of your case. Once all objections are resolved, then your case will be confirmed by the court at the re-set confirmation hearing. You are generally not required to be present at the confirmation hearing. I handle this on your behalf. Once your case is confirmed, the rest is generally up to you. You must follow through with your chapter 13 bankruptcy plan and once it is finished, you will receive the chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge.