The Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Process – Part 6

06 Oct The Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Process – Part 6

In Part 5, we discussed different types of Chapter 13 plans. Once the plan is confirmed, the most important part of the process is the claims. Claims are filed by your creditors. They itemize what is owed, whether the debt is secured or unsecured and if there is any interest or fees due.

Usually, the claims trickle in for several months after the plan is confirmed, but at the end of the claim period, the trustee will send out a claims list, identifying everyone you listed on the schedules when you filed for bankruptcy and anyone who has filed a claim.

Reviewing the claims list with your attorney is, perhaps, the most important part of the entire Chapter 13 process. This will give you a chance to determine who is owed, how much is owed, and if any of the creditors are asking for more than they are entitled to receive. Further, you’ll be able to see who hasn’t filed a claim.

In some cases, the fact that a creditor hasn’t filed a claim is good thing, as they won’t be included in any payout. That might reduce the amount you have to pay through the plan, or the length of the plan. But, for some creditors, you wan them to file a claim. Only claims are paid and if you have a priority debt that you want paid, you might need to file a claim for that creditor. This happens with tax claims, because they often survive the bankruptcy, so you want to make sure they are included and paid.

In part 7, we will discuss objecting to a claim.

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Douglas Jacobs is a California bankruptcy attorney and partner in the Chico law firm of Jacobs, Anderson, Potter & Chaplin. Since 1988, Mr. Jacobs has taught Constitutional law and Debtor-Creditor/Bankruptcy law at the Cal Northern School of Law. He has served as Dean of Students since 1994. He is a frequent lecturer on the subject of consumer bankruptcy law, and has spoken at both state and national levels.
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