Filing of Chapter 13 Case

A chapter 13 case is started with the filing of a petition, schedules, and related documents with the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court.

Automatic Stay, Notice to Creditors

The filing of the chapter 13 petition results in the “automatic stay” of most collection actions against the debtor. The Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court provides notice of the filing of the bankruptcy case to all creditors.

Meeting of Creditors

About five weeks after the chapter 13 case is filed, the chapter 13 trustee holds the creditors’ meeting. During this meeting, the trustee places the debtor under oath, and both the trustee and any creditors in attendance may ask the debtor questions about his financial affairs and the terms of the proposed chapter 13 plan.  In most cases, no creditors take the opportunity to attend. Bankruptcy judges do not attend the meeting of creditors.


Confirmation Hearing

After the creditors’ meeting, a hearing is held before the Bankruptcy Court to consider confirmation of the debtor’s proposed chapter 13 plan. The confirmation of the chapter 13 plan binds the debtor and creditors to the provisions of the plan.

Chapter 13 Plan Payments

The debtors makes payments under a typical chapter 13 plan over three to five years. The length of the plan depends on various factors, including what the amount of the debtor’s projected disposable income and the amount of non-exempt assets.

Discharge Order

The chapter 13 discharge order is generally entered after the completion of the payments required under the debtor’s chapter 13 plan.