Chapter 13: The Steady Road Back To Freedom

Chapter 13 is an alternative for individuals filing for bankruptcy. This bankruptcy lasts until a debt repayment plan has been completed, which can take several years. Typically, you will only have to pay unsecured creditors a small percentage of what is owed. However, some back taxes must be fully paid, as well as past due balances on secured debt (such as a car loan or a mortgage). Under Chapter 13, individuals filing for bankruptcy may get to keep their car or home even if they have become delinquent on those loans.

One of the major advantages of filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 13 is that if you have a second mortgage or equity line of credit on your home, this can be discharged and you never have to pay another dime on this debt.

How Long Does a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Take?

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy continues for the duration of a debt repayment plan, which usually lasts between three to five years. At the completion of a successful Chapter 13 bankruptcy, most of the debts are discharged, meaning the person no longer has to pay anything further on the debt.

How Does a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Work?

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can make money tight while you repay the debt, but it also has advantages.

The first step in filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is to put together a payment plan. Details that should be in the plan can include how much each creditor gets, how long the plan will last, the value of the individual’s property and so on.

After filing for Chapter 13, a court-appointed trustee will call for a (non-optional) meeting of creditors. At the meeting, the trustee or creditors may question details of the plan put forward.

A confirmation hearing is held soon after the meeting of creditors. This is where the court formally approves your Chapter 13 plan. For full details of both of these meeting, scroll down and read on.

Once the plan has gotten court approval, the payment plan must be carried out before the Chapter 13 bankruptcy is completed. This is usually the longest part of the process.

Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be a long and complex process. Each person’s unique financial situation makes every filing unique. Get in touch with Dowe Law on 510-233-7700 today and let them help you through the bankruptcy process quickly, easily and without fuss.

Here’s a summary of the steps you’ll go through at a meeting of creditors and hearing of confirmation

  1. About five to six weeks after filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 13, you’ll attend a hearing known as the meeting of creditors. You’ll be informed about this meeting through a written notice from the bankruptcy court. All of your creditors will also receive a notice of this meeting of creditors.

    This is not an optional meeting. You must attend or your case may be dismissed.

  2. Usually, creditors don’t show up for this meeting and it is conducted entirely by the bankruptcy trustee. The trustee may also request that you bring other documents and information to this meeting.

  3. You’ll be placed under oath and the trustee will ask you about your bankruptcy petition, debts, assets and other financial interests. The trustee will ask you under penalty of perjury if all the information contained in your bankruptcy documents is true and correct.

  4. After the Trustee has questioned you, any creditors who attend the meeting of creditors will have a chance to ask you questions. Usually no creditors appear. A creditor may object to your Chapter 13 bankruptcy by filing a written objection to confirmation and filing it with the bankruptcy court. This does not happen very often.

  5. After the meeting of creditors, the trustee may have some objections to the fact that you are filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 13. These objections typically include doubt as to whether you have the money to fund your Chapter 13 plan and questions regarding the bankruptcy documents that you filed with the court.

  6. After the meeting of creditors, the court conducts a hearing of confirmation. The purpose of this hearing is for the judge to formally approve your Chapter 13 plan. Until the court has approved your Chapter 13 plan, your case is in limbo. This confirmation hearing usually lasts only a few minutes.

What our clients say

“It was great having the assistance and dedication that Dowe Law provided for me and my husband during our bankruptcy. We had many questions throughout the process and our attorney, Hermin Dowe, made herself available by both phone and email and was quick in replying! On our court day, she came prepared and ready with any documents and answers that might be needed in court. Some of the other attorneys that were there did not have their clients paperwork and we felt secure and comforted knowing that our attorney was reliable! Our friend also went through her law firm and recommended her to us, and I would recommend my friends and loved ones to her as well. I will definitely go through Dowe Law for any future legal needs!!!” – CL