Chapter 13 cases are more complicated than Chapter 7 cases. Chapter 13 allows for the reorganization of existing debt and requires a repayment Plan based on your existing debt and monthly income. Chapter 13 is well-suited for individuals who do not meet the income requirements to qualify for a Chapter 7 case or who are behind on secured debts but wish to retain the collateral, such as their residence or vehicle.
Any arrearages can be captured in the repayment plan to bring the account current. You must have some source of income and the Plan must be confirmed by the Court. Plan payments can be made by automatic withdrawal from a bank account, though payroll deduction, or by check or money order. A Trustee will be assigned to your case to monitor your compliance with the terms of the repayment Plan and to oversee distribution of your monthly payment to your creditors. Failure to comply with the repayment plan will result in the dismissal of your case without a discharge.
Once your Petition is filed, a hearing date will be set approximately 30 days later. The hearing is called a "Meeting of Creditors" or "341 hearing" and is administered by the Trustee assigned to your case. You will be represented by counsel at this hearing and are required to attend this meeting to verify your identity and to answer questions posed to you by the Trustee. A second hearing will be held to confirm your Chapter 13 Plan once the deadline for creditors to file their Proofs of Claim has passed. You are not required to attend the confirmation hearing.
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