Most people who file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy hire an attorney, as navigating the process alone can be a daunting challenge.
However, before you get the ball rolling, you may want to know what you can expect during this process. Here, the Salt Lake City bankruptcy lawyers at Davis & Jones P.C. explain the steps in a typical Chapter 13 filing.
Step 1: Credit Counseling
Within the six-month period before filing for bankruptcy, you must complete a credit counseling course. The class, which goes over your options for debt relief, can be taken online, over the phone or in person.
Step 2: Document Preparation
Your bankruptcy attorney then prepares the petition, schedules and other necessary forms. This includes a proposed repayment plan, the core of the case, which must meet every legal requirement.\
Step 3: Filing the Bankruptcy Claim
Once all of the documents are ready, your bankruptcy attorney will file the claim with the court. Along with the paperwork listed above, your most recent tax returns must be submitted. Within a month after filing, you need to make your first plan payment.
Step 4: Bankruptcy Trustee Review
The automatic stay goes into effect immediately after filing, and the bankruptcy trustee will inform all of your creditors to cease their collection actions. In addition, the trustee will review your case and make sure it complies with the law.
Step 5: Meeting of Creditors
You and your attorney will attend the meeting of creditors, also called the 341 meeting. This is typically short, and your creditors are not likely to show up. The meeting mainly involves questioning from the bankruptcy trustee.
Step 6: Confirmation Hearing
Either you or your bankruptcy attorney must next attend a confirmation hearing. At this court hearing, any creditor or trustee objections will be addressed. If everything goes as planned, the court will confirm your bankruptcy repayment plan.
Step 7: Proofs of Claim
If any creditors file proofs of claim in an attempt to get paid, your bankruptcy attorney can object. Conversely, if a creditor you wish to pay off does not file one, you can do so to include the debt in your Chapter 13 bankruptcy case.
Step 8: Repayment Period
Now is when you simply need to comply with your repayment plan requirements. Your bankruptcy trustee will collect the payments and distributes them among your creditors, and you may need to submit periodic income and expense statements.
Step 9: Debtor Education
Before the date of your final plan payment, you will need to complete a debtor education course. You can take this class, which covers financial management after Chapter 13 bankruptcy, online, over the phone or in person.
Step 10: Bankruptcy Discharge
When your Chapter 13 repayment plan comes to an end, the bankruptcy court will grant you a discharge. The discharge notice may come in the mail, or the court may grant it during a hearing.
Are you looking for a highly-qualified bankruptcy attorney in the greater Salt Lake City area? The Law Office of Davis & Jones, P.C., can handle your Chapter 13 case with expert care.
Our legal team has decades of experience, and we can guide you on the path to debt relief. Contact us and schedule a free consultation to discuss Chapter 13 bankruptcy today.