As has been discussed in this blog before, along with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition a debtor will file a Chapter 13 plan. This plan sets out how much a debtor will pay to the Trustee and how certain debts will be paid, among other things.
Once a debtor files a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, he will get notice of a date for his confirmation hearing. The confirmation hearing is where the Court “confirms” the bankruptcy plan. The hearing will take place after the Meeting of Creditors has been held. The meeting of creditors provides the Trustee and creditors a chance to ask any questions about the debtor’s plan, if they wish.
Until the Court confirms a debtor’s Chapter 13 plan, creditors and other interested parties can object to its provisions. The Chapter 13 Trustee might also have reasons to object to the plan. For instance, the Trustee might object if the plan does not propose to pay the debtor’s disposable income or if the Trustee believes the plan is not feasible.
At the confirmation hearing, any creditors, the trustee, and the debtor will have a chance to address the Court and let the Judge hear why they believe Chapter 13 plan should or should not be confirmed. The Judge will generally encourage the parties to try to work out their problems, and might continue the hearing to give them time to do so. If a resolution cannot be reached, the Judge will make a decision on whether the plan can be confirmed as proposed by the debtor. At the hearing, the Judge might also ask any questions he or she may have concerning the plan or any objections.
If there are no objections to the plan, it will generally be confirmed. Though each court district operates differently, there might not actually be a hearing if there are no objections to the plan. Your attorney will let you know whether you need to be present for your confirmation hearing. Many times after a case is confirmed, the debtor is all set for the rest of the term of their bankruptcy case and will not need to appear in Court again.
If you are stressed financially and would like to speak to an attorney about setting up a plan to pay your debts, please contact one of our offices today.