Friday, December 4, 2009

What Do I Need To File With My Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Petition? Are There Any Deadlines?

The bankruptcy court is very strict regarding deadlines. Often, missing a deadline will result in the dismissal of your Bankruptcy Case. Therefore, it is very important that all documents are filed accurately and on time with the Bankruptcy Court.

No more than 15 days after filing the Chapter 13 petition, you must file all required financial schedules with the court. The Schedules are documents declaring your assets, liabilities, expenses, income, and a statement of your financial affairs, which is very similar to a budget sheet or an explanation of your personal finances. In most cases, these schedules are filed along with your petition. The schedules also set forth to the trustee and bankruptcy court what property is "exempt" (meaning you can retain the property following the conclusion of your case) and what property is "non-exempt", meaning it must be surrendered to the trustee for sale, with the proceeds used to pay any debts.

Within 15 days of filing the Chapter 13 petition, you must file your Chapter 13 repayment plan. The repayment plan is a schedule of how much of your remaining available monthly income (as determined by IRS figures) is available to repay creditors, in what amounts, and in what order. Your Chapter 13 attorney will assist you in preparing your repayment plan, determining the available monthly income, and the proper repayment schedule.

Within 30 days after filing the Chapter 13 Repayment Plan, you must make your first payment as set forth in the plan to the U.S. Trustee. Failing to make the first payment will result in the dismissal of your Chapter 13 petition.

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