In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy for individuals who are filing (or Chapter 11 bankruptcies for certain business debts), a repayment plan must be submitted and approved by the court to legitimately proceed. This is in contrast to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which does not involve a repayment plan for individuals, but rather liquidation of non-exempt assets to satisfy creditors. The court will consider your bankruptcy plan at what is called the Confirmation Hearing, which is usually a relatively short court proceeding.
When Does the Confirmation Hearing Happen?
After you have filed a petition for Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must within 14 days, submit a plan to pay back your creditors all, or at least some, of the debt you owe. Many filers submit their petitions and repayment plans at the same time. After your repayment plan is submitted, the next step is the creditors’ meeting, which is not a formal court hearing.
Creditors’ meetings will occur in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. In the case of Chapter 13 bankruptcies, this meeting will usually happen 21-50 days after the original petition is filed. The confirmation hearing will commence no more than 45 days after the creditors’ meeting.
What Happens at the Confirmation Hearing?
The main purpose of the confirmation hearing is for the judge assigned to your case to approve your repayment plan. Your plan must adhere to the bankruptcy code. The trustee will be in attendance and notify the court of any objections to your plan, as will some creditors. Typically, debtors and other parties to a filing will be in contact before the confirmation hearing and will hash out any objections to the plan then.
If there are any disputes to your plan that cannot be mutually resolved, then the judge must manually come to a solution at the hearing. Witnesses might testify and evidence may be turned over to help alleviate these types of dispute. If there were disputes that you and your trustee or creditors came to an agreement on, then the judge must also approve these agreements. Another hearing, called the post-confirmation hearing, may be called if the judge does not ultimately approve your repayment plan at the confirmation hearing.
After coming to the decision that you must file for bankruptcy, many events will occur in fairly rapid succession that can be overwhelming for first-time filers. At every step of the way, you would benefit from the guidance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney. If you are looking for one that treats your individual case with personalized care, please consider reaching out to the Law Offices of B. David Sisson soon to get started with a no-obligation consultation.