Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Timeline

The law provides for very specific criteria in order to file for Chapter 13 Bankuptcy. The process can take months, but is made much easier with the assistance of a local Chapter 13 attorney.

Four Years Before Your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

If you’ve received a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge within 4 years of your Chapter 13 filing, you are not eligible for a discharge under another Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You may still file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy within this 4year period if you’d like to repay your debt under the supervision of the Bankruptcy Court or want to save your house from foreclosure, but you do not receive an official discharge of your debt.

Two Years Before Your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

If you’ve received a Chapter 13 discharge within 2 years of a second Chapter 13 filing, you are not eligible for a discharge under the second Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You may still file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy within this 2-year period if you’d like to repay your debt under the supervision of the Bankruptcy Court or want to save your house from foreclosure, but you do not receive an official discharge of your debt.

You cannot receive a discharge in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you received a prior Chapter 7 discharge within the last 8 years. 180 Days Before Your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Credit Counseling Requirement

Within 180 days before filing bankruptcy, you must receive a credit counseling briefing from an approved nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency. This counseling briefing is a question and answer session with an approved non-profit credit counselor who tries to help you see if there is a way you could repay your debt and avoid bankruptcy. The briefing usually takes around 45-90 minutes and can be done via telephone or online. If the course is not completed within the 180 days prior to filing your bankruptcy, your case is dismissed.

The Dismissal of a Previous Bankruptcy Prevents the Filing of a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

You cannot file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy if you had a previous bankruptcy which was dismissed within the preceding 180 days because either:

  1. You failed to obey court orders, or
  2. You voluntarily requested the dismissal after the filing for relief from the automatic stay by one of your creditors.

90 Days Before Your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is Filed

Minimum Residency Requirement

You must be a resident in the state in which you are filing for the last 90 days. If you have not resided in the state that long, you can only file in the state where you have resided, or which has been your principal place of business or which has been the location of your principal assets for the majority of the last 180 days.

The Filing of Your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Your Chapter 13 bankruptcy is officially commenced when your bankruptcy attorney files your petition with the Bankruptcy Court. (Married couples have the opportunity to file one petition together and commence a joint case.) The filing of your Chapter 13 bankruptcy also commences the automatic stay which prohibits your creditors from taking any further collection actions against you.

The Bankruptcy Court assigns a Chapter 13 Trustee to administer your case, and your 341 Meeting of the Creditors is scheduled.

15 Days After Your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is Filed

Deadline to File Schedules, Financial Statement, and Chapter 13 Repayment Plan

Within 15 days after filing your Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your attorney must file any bankruptcy schedules and your Chapter 13 Repayment Plan if he or she did not file these documents when they filed your bankruptcy petition. The bankruptcy schedules list your assets and liabilities, your current income and expenditures, any contracts and unexpired leases, and a statement of your financial affairs. The Chapter 13 Repayment Plan provides for how your future income will be repaid and how each creditor in your Chapter 13 bankruptcy will be treated. It also specifies when and how much each of your creditors will receive during the length of your Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
In most cases, your attorney files all these required documents when your initial petition is filed.

Notice to Your Creditors

The Bankruptcy court sends official notice of your Chapter 13 bankruptcy to you and all of the creditors listed in your petition approximately 15 days after the filing of your case. This notice informs you of the date and time set by the bankruptcy court for your 341 Meeting of the Creditors. It also informs your creditors of the deadline to object to your case.

30 Days After Your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is Filed

§ 341 Meeting

Approximately 30 days to 6 weeks after the filing of your Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your 341 Meeting of the Creditors is held. You and your attorney are required to attend this meeting and testify under oath as to the accuracy of your filed Chapter 13 petition in front of your assigned Trustee. If you do not attend the 341 Meeting, your case can be dismissed, and you have a record of bankruptcy on your credit report without having the benefit of receiving a discharge of your debt.

341 Meetings are usually short and painless and it is uncommon for creditors to attend the meeting. Your bankruptcy attorney is present at this meeting to represent you.

SPECIAL NOTE ***Per the Bankruptcy Code, all required Trustee documents must be tendered to the Trustee by you or your attorney 13 days prior to the 341 Meeting. These documents vary by Trustee and jurisdiction, but usually include your last 2 years of tax returns and 60 days of paystubs immediately prior to the filing date of your Chapter 13.***

Your First Chapter 13 Trustee Payment Due

You must make your first Chapter 13 Trustee payment within 30 days after the filing of your Chapter 13 Repayment Plan.

If your Chapter 13 plan was filed with the initial petition which commences your case, your first payment is due within 30 days from the filing of the case. The plan must be filed within 15 days after the filing of the Chapter 13 petition, so the latest date you may start making payments to the Bankruptcy Court is 45 days after the filing of the case.

30 Days After The Meeting of Your Creditors

Deadline for Your Creditors or the Trustee to Object to any Claim of Exempt Property
Your creditors and your Chapter 13 Trustee have 30 days after the conclusion of the 341 Meeting to object to any exemptions you have claimed in Schedule C of the bankruptcy petition. Most 341 Meetings are concluded on the same day they are heard by the Trustee, although the Trustee has the power to continue your 341 Meeting to a later date. Any extension by the Trustee extends the time that your creditors have to object to your claimed exemptions.

45 Days After the Meeting of Your Creditors

Confirmation Hearing

Your Chapter 13 Confirmation Hearing is held approximately 45 days after your 341 Meeting of your Creditors. Your Chapter 13 Trustee recommends to the Bankruptcy Judge whether or not your Repayment Plan should be approved or rejected by the bankruptcy court.

90 Days After The Meeting of Your Creditors

If any of your assets are available for liquidation and distribution to your creditors by the Chapter 13 Trustee, your creditors must file their proofs of claim within 90 days after your 341 meeting if they wish to receive in any monies from your case.

**Please note that any government entities that are your creditors have 180 days after the filing of your case to submit their proofs of claim. **

3 Years from Your First Chapter 13 Repayment

Minimum length of payments under Chapter 13 Plan
Unless all allowed claims are paid sooner, plan payments must continue for the 3-year period beginning on the date that the first payment is due under the plan. During this period, the plan must provide that all of the debtor's projected disposable income is committed to the plan.

Financial Management Course Requirement

To be able to receive a Chapter 13 Discharge, you must complete your post-petition financial management course before the completion of your case. This course is of an instructional nature and is tailored around managing your personal finances after bankruptcy. The class takes approximately 2 hours and can be completed over the telephone or online. If the briefing is not completed within the allotted time period, you may not receive a discharge.

Discharge entered in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Upon the completion of all of your Chapter 13 Trustee payments and your Financial Management Class, your discharge is granted and ordered by the Bankruptcy Court.

5 Years from Your First Chapter 13 Repayment

Maximum length of payments under Chapter 13 Plan

The maximum length of a Chapter 13 plan is 5 years beginning from the date that the first Trustee payment is due under the plan.

Discharge entered in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Upon the completion of all of your Chapter 13 Trustee payments and your Financial Management Class, your discharge is granted and ordered by the Bankruptcy Court.

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