Chapter 13 Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case and how does it work?
What is the main difference between a chapter 13 and 7 bankruptcy?
When is a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case preferable to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case?
Does the bankruptcy means test apply to a chapter 13?
How is chapter 13 different from credit consolidation?
When does a person receive a discharge?
What does the chapter 13 trustee do?
How much will I have to pay each month?
What are the eligibility requirements for a chapter 13?
What responsibilities does my attorney have in a chapter 13?
- Meet with the debtor(s) to review and analyze the debtor(s)’ financial situation.
- Counsel the debtor(s) on whether the filing of a bankruptcy case is appropriate and necessary and, if so, whether to file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case.
- Advise the debtor(s) of their statutory obligations once a bankruptcy is filed, both pre and post-confirmation.
- Evaluate the timing of the filing.
- Evaluate conflict of interest issues.
- Explain to the debtor(s) the nature and amount of fees and expenses to be charged for the Basic Services. Provide the debtor(s) with a copy of this Exhibit A of Basic Services.
- If required to e-file, e-file all documents on debtors behalf.
- Analyze eligibility for discharge.
- Prepare and file required documents, including, but not limited to, the schedules and statement of affairs and Form B22 C, Statement of Current Monthly Income, and other information required to be filed by section 521(a) of the Code.
- Assist the debtor(s) in formulating a budget and Chapter 13 plan.
- Respond to creditor inquires.
- Timely supply requested information to the Chapter 13 Trustee.
- Advise the debtor(s) with regard to the automatic stay.
- Take appropriate action with respect to the automatic stay.
- Appear at and represent the debtor(s) at the § 341 meeting of creditors.
- Review claims filed by the final hearing on confirmation and account for them in the plan.
- Represent the debtor(s) in negotiations with the Chapter 13 Trustee.
- Prepare and file any necessary amendments to schedules, statements and proposed plans.
- Where Debtor(s) own real estate or has lawsuits, obtain a lien search and if applicable, prepare and file motions for avoidance of liens.
- Represent the debtor(s) at any Rule 2004 examination.
- File or object to proofs of claim, as necessary.
- If appropriate, prepare and file responses to motions and appear at any hearings.
- Represent debtors in plan confirmation process and attend hearing if necessary on objections to confirmation.
- Prepare all proposed orders and give all notices as required.
- Comply with T.L.B.R. 1017 and 3015, 11 U.S.C. §§ 521 and 1308
Do Judgments go away when I File Bankruptcy?
Your attorney will use a mathematical formula which takes into account the fair market value of the home, senior encumbrances, the dollar amount of the exemption/s and the balance of the lien as well as when the lien was filed. If the debtor’s exemption is only partially impaired, the lien will be removed to the extent that it intrudes on the exemption. This is a rather complex area of the bankruptcy code. An attorney should handle the entire process for you. Removing liens will result in increased attorney costs but in most cases it is well worth it.
If the debtor does not own a home at the time of the filing, ask an attorney about how to proceed.
How will filing bankruptcy affect my credit?
Will my friends, family or employer find out?
It is rare for a trustee to contact your employer unless there is a reason to do so.
Will potential employers discriminate against me for filing bankruptcy?
Which property can I keep?
Is there a court meeting?