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Carole Friend, Attorney
Click to Access Western KY Bankruptcy Court Website
Click to Access Lexington KY Bankruptcy Court Website
1. Mandatory credit counseling - the Bankruptcy Code requires that you must receive credit counseling during the 6 month period prior to filing for chapter 13. Without this credit counseling, your case will end up being dismissed.
2. Filing a petition - Submit a petition, along with financial information, to the bankruptcy court in your area. Once you have completed this part of the process, an automatic stay goes into place protecting you from harassment by creditors.
3. Trustee takes over - approximately 1-2 weeks after filing your petition, a court-appointed trustee will take over your finances. They will review your paperwork and handle any actions to be taken on your property. Around this time, the court will also set a date for a meeting with your creditors. The new law also requires you to submit a copy of your most recent tax return to the trustee. Thist must happen prior to the next step in the process.
4. 341 Meeting (Meeting with creditors) - Anywhere from 21-50 days from filing, you will be required to meet with the trustee and your creditors so that your creditors can get a better idea of your financial situation. During this meeting, the trustee places the debtor under oath, and both the trustee and creditors may ask questions. In a chapter 13 case, to participate in distributions from the bankruptcy estate, unsecured creditors must file their claims with the court within 90 days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors.
5. Unless the court grants an extension, the debtor must file a repayment plan with the petition or within 14 days after the petition is filed. Fed. R. Bankr. P. 3015. A plan must be submitted for court approval and must provide for payments of fixed amounts to the trustee on a regular basis, typically biweekly or monthly. The trustee distributes the funds to creditors according to terms of the plan, which may offer creditors less than full payment on claims.
6. Within 30 days after filing the bankruptcy case, even if the plan has not yet been approved by the court, the debtor must start making plan payments to the trustee. 11 U.S.C. § 1326(a)(1). If any secured loan payments or lease payments come due before the debtor's plan is confirmed (typically home and automobile payments), the debtor must make adequate protection payments directly to the secured lender or lessor - deducting the amount paid from the amount that would otherwise be paid to the trustee.
7. No later than 45 days after the meeting of creditors, the bankruptcy judge must hold a confirmation hearing and decide whether the plan is feasible and meets the standards for confirmation set forth in the Bankruptcy Code.
8. A chapter 13 debtor is entitled to a discharge upon completion of all payments under the chapter 13 plan so long as the debtor: (1) certifies (if applicable) that all domestic support obligations that came due prior to making such certification have been paid; (2) has not received a discharge in a prior case filed within a certain time frame (two years for prior chapter 13 cases and four years for prior chapter 7, 11 and 12 cases); and (3) has completed an approved course in financial management (if the U.S. trustee or bankruptcy administrator for the debtor's district has determined that such courses are available to the debtor).
Phone: 502 542-2398