Chapter 13 Process Timeline & FAQ

Chapter 13 Process Timeline & FAQ

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Process

Prior to Filing

In the last 4 years did you:

~~ Receive a bankruptcy discharge under Chapter 7, 11, or 12?

If it has been less than 4 years ago, you will be ineligible to receive a discharge in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. (§1328)

In the last 2 years did you:

~~ Receive a Chapter 13 discharge?

A discharge will not be possible in your current bankruptcy case if a discharge was received in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case filed within the last 2 years. (§1328)

~~ Transfer any property or interest in property?

The Trustee may recover property the debtor transferred and avoid obligations the debtor incurred which were done within 2 years before the bankruptcy, if the transfer or obligation were undertaken with the intent to hinder, delay, or defraud any entity, or when the debtor was insolvent. (§548)

In the last year did you:

~~ Pay back one of your creditors that is considered an insider, that is, a relative or close business associate?

These types of payments are unlawful. The Trustee may recover the monies paid and redistribute them to your other creditors. (§547)

~~ Have a prior bankruptcy case dismissed?

The Automatic Stay will be terminated within 30 days unless you are able to demonstrate that your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case was filed in good faith. If more than 1 bankruptcy case was dismissed in the past year, no stay will go into effect. (§362)

In the last 180 days did you:

~~ Have your bankruptcy case dismissed either at your request and/or due to your failure to obey court orders?

You must wait until 180 days have expired before you are able to file again. (§109)

~~ Attend a Credit Counseling course?

You must receive a Credit Counseling Briefing from a certified credit counseling agency before your bankruptcy may be filed. (§521)

In the last 90 days did you:

~~ Pay back over $600 to any of your creditors?

These types of payments are unlawful. The Trustee may recover the monies paid and redistribute them to your other creditors. (§547)

~~ Incur new credit of $500 or more for luxury goods or services?

This debt is considered non-dischargeable. (§523)

~~ Live as a resident of the state in which you intend to file your bankruptcy?

If not, you may only file your bankruptcy case in the state in which you have resided or kept your principal assets for the majority of the prior 180 days. (28 USC §1408)

In the last 70 days did you:

~~ Obtain a cash advance in the amount of $750 or more?

This debt is considered non-dischargeable. (§523).

Bankruptcy case filed:

Your Chapter 13 bankruptcy case begins once a Petition is filed with the Court. A husband and wife may file a joint Petition. (§301; §302) The Schedules listing assets, creditors, income, expenses, executory contracts, leases, and co-debtors are customarily filed along with the Petition. The Chapter 13 Plan and Plan Summary, Declaration Regarding Payment Advices and Credit Counseling Certificate are also usually filed along with the Petition. The filing fee is paid at the time of filing.

After Filing:


~~ Automatic Stay Order prohibits your creditors from sending you letters, calling you, or taking any additional collection and/or legal action against you. Garnishments on bank accounts and paychecks must stop. (§362)

~~ Bankruptcy Trustee will be assigned to your bankruptcy case.

~~ Schedule your Debtor education Course.

Approximately 15 days after bankruptcy case filing:

~~ The Bankruptcy Clerk will mail you and your creditors the Notice of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Case, Meeting of Creditors, & Deadlines, which provides the date set for your meeting of creditors and other important deadlines.

Within 30 days after bankruptcy case filing:

~~ Plan payments must begin no later than 30 days after the Petition is filed.

7 days before 341 Meeting:

~~Your most recent tax return, paystubs from the 60 days prior to filing, and bank statements from the date of filing are due to the Trustee 7 days before the date first set for the 341 meeting. (§521)

Approximately 6 weeks after bankruptcy case filing:

~~Your Meeting of Creditors, often referred to at a 341 meeting, will be held. (§341)

30 days after your 341 Meeting:

~~Deadline for the Bankruptcy Trustee or your creditors to object to your exemption claims.

20-45 days after 341 Meeting:

~~ A Plan Confirmation hearing is scheduled. The Trustee, creditors, and interested parties are able to enter objections to the court regarding your proposed repayment plan.

90 days after 341 meeting:

~~All creditors (except for government entities) must file their proofs of claim if they wish to share in the payments from your bankruptcy case if any assets are available for liquidation.

180 days after bankruptcy case filed:

~~ Government agencies or units must file a proof of claim within 180 days of your bankruptcy case filing.

~~ You no longer risk losing property you acquire or become entitled to after your bankruptcy case is filed as a result of inheritance, bequest, devise, property settlements involving divorce, or beneficiary on life insurance. The above-mentioned if received after your bankruptcy case is filed is at risk of being liquidated by the Trustee if received within 180 days of filing. (§541)

Before last Plan Payment or Motion requesting hardship discharge:

~~ You must have completed your debtor education course and filed a certificate of completion before you pay your last plan payment or file a motion requesting hardship discharge.

3-5 years after first Plan Payment:

~~ Your plan length will last 3 – 5 years. You will need to make a plan payment to the Trustee every month. (§1325; §1322) Tax returns will need to be provided to the Trustee throughout the duration of the plan.

~~ Upon completion of the plan payments a discharge will be entered.

~~ A Final Decree will be entered by the Court officially closing the bankruptcy case.