Chapter 13 Process

1. Steps for Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

  • Complete your Credit Counseling Briefing
  • File your bankruptcy petition in the appropriate court
  • The court will enter an automatic stay, prohibiting creditors from taking any further collection action while the bankruptcy case is pending, or until further order of the bankruptcy court
  • The bankruptcy court will send notice to all of the creditors listed in the Chapter 13 petition, and will assign a bankruptcy trustee to the case.
  • Within about 15 days after the petition is filed, the court will send a Notice of Commencement of Case to the bankruptcy petitioner and to all of the creditors listed in the bankruptcy petition. This notice will include important information like the time, date and location of the creditors meeting and the deadlines for claims and/or objections from creditors
  • Schedules containing information about the petitioner’s debts, assets, income and expenses MUST be filed within 15 days after the case is commenced. These schedules may be filed with the petition. If the petitioner is filing bankruptcy in order to stop foreclosure or repossession, the schedules may be filed separately so that the petition can be filed immediately, without waiting to collect the required information and documentation for the schedules.

2. Automatic Stay

  • The first thing that happens after you file for either Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy is the “automatic stay.” The court or the bankruptcy trustee will mail notice to all the creditors you have listed to notify them that you have filed for bankruptcy. Once they are notified of your bankruptcy filing, your creditors may not call you anymore to collect the debt. If a creditor continues to call you – tell them they must speak to your attorney.
  • Be sure to tell your bankruptcy attorney if you have any on-going lawsuits or wage garnishments, so that he or she may call these creditors immediately. Filing bankruptcy automatically stays (stops) all lawsuits, garnishments, attachments and other attempts by your creditors to take your property. A few days after your case is filed, the Bankruptcy Court will mail a notice to all of your creditors ordering them to stop all action against you.

3. Chapter 13 Meeting of Creditors

  • The Meeting of Creditors will usually take place within 30 to 45 days after your petition is filed. The meeting is informal and your attorney will prepare you for this occasion. The “Meeting of Creditors” usually does not last longer than 15 to 20 minutes.