Time Line for Chapter 13 Proceedings
§2.6 Before a Chapter 13 case is filed it is essential to have an understanding of the time line of the case and to provide that information to the client. After the filing of any petition in bankruptcy, a meeting of creditors is scheduled by the court 25 to 45 days later. This is commonly referred to as the “section 341 meeting,” since it is based on 11 USC 341. The debtor, debtor’s counsel, and creditors will receive notification of the creditors’ hearing and the confirmation hearing from the court. A standing trustee is appointed in every Chapter 13 case immediately upon its filing. Payments must commence to the trustee within 30 days of the filing of the petition.
All creditors must be served with a copy of the Chapter 13 plan setting forth their treatment under the plan. Creditors who wish to challenge their treatment under the plan must file objections to confirmation. See LBR 3015-3(a)(1) (ED Mich).
Payments to creditors from the trustee commence on entry of an order of confirmation and will be made in monthly disbursements based on priority. See 11 USC 1326. Creditors who wish to receive distributions must file a proof of claim within 90 days of the date of the meeting of creditors. Bankruptcy Rule 3002(c). Debtors may file proofs of claims on the creditors’ behalf should they fail to do so. 11 USC 501(c). Depending on the classification of claims, the Chapter 13 plan may limit the size of a secured claim or the rate of interest allowed.
The debtor’s plan length will be at least 36 months (and may be less only when proposing to pay creditors in full) and may not exceed 60 months. See 11 USC 1325(b)(4). The means test (§2.10) will designate whether a three- or five-year commitment period is required, based on income level.
On completion of all payments under the plan the trustee will file a notice of completion of the case with the court triggering the issuance of a discharge if no objections are filed to the trustee’s notice and the debtor has filed all required documents with the court evidencing completion of the financial management course and affidavits attesting that all domestic support obligations are up to date. Assuming no objections to the notice of final completion, the court will issue the debtor’s discharge. A final report will be issued by the trustee once the final accounting is available. See 11 USC 1328.