Filing Chapter 13 - Forms
Considerations when filing Chapter 13 cases and proposed plans
All US bankruptcy Courts provide access to forms through the local Clerk's Office. Additionally, when filing Chapter 13, online forms are normally available through many court web sites. Forms change frequently, and when filing Chapter 13 pro se, individuals should always call the Clerk's Office, in advance, to insure the current version of documents and forms are used. Generally, forms include the following:
- A conforming mailing matrix list of creditors in the format proscribed by the Clerk;
- Pleading attachment list of creditors;
- Voluntary Petition;
- Debtor's proposed plan and payments, including: the means of payment, a viable and ongoing method of payment, complete terms and plan details for repayment of creditors, and calculation of the percentage actually paid to unsecured creditors over the life of the plan;
- A Summary of all schedules filed with the Office of the Clerk of the Court;
- Schedules A-J, when appropriate;
- A declaration of intent for debtor's schedules;
- Completion of a Form 7 Statement of Financial Affairs for the Chapter 13 debtor;
- Disclosure of all compensation paid to lawyers during the proceeding one year;
- Current filing fee amount or the Official Form 3 Application (to pay filing fees in installments); and
- An original documents set plus three sets of copies for the Clerks convenience.
Filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy immediately initiates the Section 362 stay which prevents further collection efforts by most creditors. Court permission must be obtained before creditors will be allowed to resume collection actions.
Filing Chapter 13 - In Practice
When filing Chapter 13 forms, most courts demand all documents submitted by lawyers to be in a conforming electronic format (i.e. filed online through an attorney account or in floppy disk format). Individual who file pro se may still file Chapter 13 with paper documents, yet must also include a list of creditors prepared in a format which is compatible with the Clerk's scanning procedure. Failure to follow the required "Mailing Matrix" format may result in automatic dismissal.