What Happens After Meeting of Creditors in Chapter 13?

By Elizabeth Stock

The meeting of the creditors, referred to as the 341 meeting because of the Bankruptcy Code Section that specifies the meeting, is an informal meeting held shortly after you file for bankruptcy. The meeting of the creditors is held in every bankruptcy case, whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, what happens during and after the meeting of creditors can determine whether your Chapter 13 repayment plan will be accepted by the bankruptcy court.

The meeting of the creditors, referred to as the 341 meeting because of the Bankruptcy Code Section that specifies the meeting, is an informal meeting held shortly after you file for bankruptcy. The meeting of the creditors is held in every bankruptcy case, whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, what happens during and after the meeting of creditors can determine whether your Chapter 13 repayment plan will be accepted by the bankruptcy court.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is a liquidation proceeding and involves selling your assets to repay your creditors, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to keep your property during your bankruptcy case. Instead of selling assets, you create a repayment plan that enables you to catch up on your debts. The repayment plan lasts three to five years and must be approved by the bankruptcy court. During this time, you repay all or a portion of your debt. The repayment plan must be submitted with your bankruptcy petition, or within 14 days after you file for bankruptcy. You make all monthly payments to your Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee, who then distributes the funds to your creditors. The bankruptcy trustee is the individual appointed by the bankruptcy court to handle your bankruptcy. A Chapter 13 trustee has many duties, including ensuring all bankruptcy documents are completed properly and to manage your repayment plan.

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Meeting of the Creditors

The meeting of the creditors, or 341 meeting, typically occurs about six to eight weeks after you submit your repayment plan to the bankruptcy court. The meeting of the creditors is informal in nature and typically held in the bankruptcy trustee’s office. You, your attorney and bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case attend the meeting. The bankruptcy trustee will review your bankruptcy petition and ask questions related to your filing. In addition, the meeting of the creditors is an opportunity for your creditors to ask questions of you regarding the repayment plan or pose objections to particular aspects of the plan. An objection to the plan can be completed online, but must be filed no later than during the meeting. Creditors are not required to attend the meeting of the creditors, and whether they do or not has no affect on whether they will be paid under your Chapter 13 plan.

Confirmation Hearing

About 45 days after the meeting of creditors, a confirmation hearing is held by the bankruptcy judge. The exact date of the confirmation hearing will differ, according to state law. During the hearing, the judge will review the repayment plan to determine if the plan is feasible. Your attorney will explain to the bankruptcy judge why the plan is feasible and answer any questions the judge may have regarding your financial situation or any property you would like to keep. If any issues arise that cannot be addressed at the 341 meeting, the bankruptcy trustee or any creditor can raise those issues during the confirmation hearing. Objecting parties at the confirmation hearing will also have an opportunity to explain to the bankruptcy judge why their version of a repayment plan should be approved instead of your plan.

Begin Repayment Plan

After your plan is confirmed, your repayment plan will begin immediately. You will make monthly payments to your Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee who then distributes the funds to your creditors each month. Following the confirmation hearing, if a plan has not been approved by the bankruptcy judge, you can file a modified plan. The court will then hold an additional hearing to either confirm or deny the modified plan. If no feasible plan is presented to the court, the court has the option of dismissing your Chapter 13 bankruptcy case.

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What Happens During Chapter 13 Confirmation Hearing?

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341 Hearing & Bankruptcy

If you have filed a bankruptcy petition, you may be anxious about the procedure. The 341 hearing, an important step in the process, requires a meeting of the creditors. Although the event may sound intimidating, the 341 hearing is not an interrogation. In fact, in many cases, the hearing takes just a few minutes from start to finish.

What Happens If I Forgot to List All My Bills for My Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy gives you protection from creditors while you meet the terms of a court-approved repayment plan. It's ideal for those who are unable to meet their debts, but have enough income to pay down their bills gradually. If you successfully complete a Chapter 13 repayment plan, you will earn a discharge of any eligible debts that remain once the repayment plan is complete. The initial step in this process is to file the petition for bankruptcy as well as a list of all your creditors.

Bankruptcy Due Diligence Requirements

When you file for bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court needs information about your current financial situation, including a full disclosure of your assets and income. You must act with due diligence in providing the court with supporting documentation regarding your financial situation. Due diligence means that you cooperate with the bankruptcy court to the best of your ability by providing requested documents and answering all inquiries truthfully. Failure to act with due diligence can result in the dismissal of your bankruptcy case or a revocation of your bankruptcy discharge.

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