Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Frequently Asked Questions
The following responses are intended as general information and should not be taken as legal advice. For more information consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
- 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
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.
It is rare for a trustee to contact your employer unless there is a reason to do so.