The Chapter 13 bankruptcy process generally takes from three to five years. The filing fee for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is $313. In addition to the filing fee, you must complete a credit counseling course prior to filing and a financial management course after filing. These courses may be complete online with a cost of $10 per course.
The typical process may include:
- Initial consultation with a bankruptcy attorney
- Completion of necessary forms
- Pre-Petition Credit Counseling
- Review, Sign, and File Petition and Schedules
- Financial Management Course
- 341 Meeting of Creditors
- Chapter 13 Repayment Plan
Initial Consultation With A Bankruptcy Attorney
To begin a bankruptcy filing, it is strongly recommended that you meet with an attorney with specific bankruptcy experience to explain in more detail the rules, guidelines, qualifications and process of Chapter 13 bankruptcy as it applies to your specific situation.
Completion of Necessary Forms
We have developed worksheets for our clients to complete that will enable us to analyze their financial situation and complete the bankruptcy petition and schedules. You should be prepared to list your debts and assets and provide proof of your income for the six months prior to filing your case.
The 2005 bankruptcy laws require that you complete a credit counseling course with an agency approved by the United States Trustee. We have partnered with MoneySharp Credit Counseling so that when you complete the course, we receive a copy of your completion certificate to file with the court.
Review, Sign and File Petition and Schedules
Once you have completed and returned the worksheets we provide you, we will prepare all of the materials necessary for filing. When the documents are prepared, you will come to our office to review and sign the Petition and Schedules. Once you have signed everything, we will file the petition with the Bankruptcy Court.
Financial Management Course
After your case is filed, you must complete a Financial Management Course before you can receive your discharge. We recommend that this course be completed immediately after filing. We have partnered with MoneySharp Financial Education so that when you complete the course, we receive a copy of your completion certificate to file with the court.
341 Meeting of Creditors
Shortly after you file bankruptcy, you and all the creditors you list will receive a notice that a “creditor meeting” has been scheduled. This meeting typically occurs three to four weeks after your case is filed. A bankruptcy trustee will be assigned to oversee your case and conduct this meeting and will ask you questions, under oath, about your bankruptcy and the information contained in your schedules. Creditors rarely attend this meeting, but if they do, they may question you as well.
Chapter 13 Repayment Plan
One of the most important forms filed in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the repayment plan. This plan details how you will repay the debts you are declaring under Chapter 13. Your first payment will be due to the Chapter 13 Trustee 30 days after you file your case. Payments are made to the bankruptcy trustee, a person appointed by the court to manage your case. The trustee then distributes the money to your creditors. You can request the bankruptcy court to order automatic deductions from your wages and have them sent directly to the trustee's office.
Once you complete your repayment plan, all remaining debts that are eligible for discharge will be wiped out by the court. You will need to demonstrate to the court that your are current on your child support, alimony and have completed your Financial Management Course. Once these requirements are met, you will receive a discharge.
To learn how an experienced bankruptcy lawyer can help you through this process, schedule your appointment online or call 314-291-8899 to arrange a FREE initial consultation to learn the bankruptcy options available to you.