My Case is Filed – What Happens Next?
April 30, 2021
Your case has been filed (see Parts 1 and 2), and now it is time to appear in Court. Virtually every debtor will need to attend a meeting of creditors. Other hearings that may be held in your case will depend on which chapter you file. Here is a brief discussion of what to expect:
Meeting of Creditors
- This meeting is also known as the 341 Meeting, as it is required by section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code and takes place around 30 days after your case is filed.
- You will meet with the Trustee assigned to your case, who will ask certain required questions such as verifying your identity and verifying that the lists of assets and debts, income and expenses, and other information in the paperwork filed with the Court are correct or if something has changed, such as a new job.
- Creditors can appear and ask questions, although in many cases no creditors are present. Creditors on a vehicle debt are the most likely to appear and may ask for information such as: mileage on the vehicle, name of insurance company, condition of vehicle.
- In a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case, most meetings do not last longer than about 10 minutes. In a more complex Chapter 11 or Chapter 12 case, the meeting could last an hour or more.
- Confirming a plan means the Bankruptcy Court has approved the proposed plan you have filed to address your debts.
- Creditors and the Trustee have the right to object to confirmation of a proposed plan. Often such objections concern the value of property or an interest rate. In many cases, your attorney can negotiate and resolve objections to confirmation at or prior to the hearing. If the parties cannot settle the objection, then the Bankruptcy Judge will decide whatever issues are involved in the objection.
- Chapter 7 – confirmation does not apply in a Chapter 7 case, as a plan is not filed in this type of bankruptcy.
- Chapter 13 – the plan is filed at the very beginning of the case, and the confirmation hearing usually is held around 60 days after filing. In many cases, if there are no objections or are only minor changes in your case, you may not need to come to the hearing. You should stay in contact with your attorney to find out if you need to be present.
- Chapter 11 – when the plan is filed and a confirmation hearing scheduled is very individual to each case and can be a complex process. Depending on how you file your case (type of Chapter 11) or what creditors file, you may have several other hearings prior to a confirmation hearing. You likely will need to be present at all hearings.
- Chapter 12 – the plan usually is filed within 90 days after the case is filed, and a confirmation hearing would be set after that. You should plan to be present for the hearing.
Next up – Part 4 coming soon about making the payments required by your plan!
Filing a bankruptcy case is complicated, and you need an experienced bankruptcy attorney to help guide you through this process. Kimberly S. Ward has been representing people just like you for nearly 20 years in bankruptcy cases in Georgia.
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