Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Laws

Help implementing Chapter 13 bankruptcy laws after 2005 reform

The primary source of Chapter 13 bankruptcy laws appears in Title 11 of the United States Code. Within Title 11, four separate chapters combine to provide the primary requirements for a proposed Chapter 13 Plan. The first chapter provides general provisions, definitions, and rules of construction, including:

  • How different chapters apply
  • Explains how dollar amounts are adjusted for inflation
  • A clause to establish the power of the court
  • Establishes a limited right to free public access to bankruptcy records
  • Defines who may be a debtor in Chapter 13
  • Establishes penalties for an extensive list of people who prepare bankruptcy papers negligently or fraudulently for debtors

The second chapter of Title 11 deals primarily with case administration. In the chapter, laws are established regarding the beginning of a case an filing the petition, who may be an officer appointed by the court, how cases must be administered, and the process for granting related orders. The third chapter deals with the relationship between debtors and creditors in Chapter 13, the procedure for case administration, and assets that comprise the bankruptcy estate. Particular provision are made for the legitimacy of claims, a debtor's rights under chapter 13, and duties dealing with assets of the estate.

The fourth chapter provides an extensive array of laws dealing with adjustments of income and debt for the purpose of distributing excess income to creditors. Within the fourth chapter, laws pertaining to officers and administration of the estate include:

  • How actions are stayed against co-debtors
  • Rights, duties and powers of an acting trustee
  • Special rules regarding debtors who are engaged in business
  • Rules for accepting and considering post-petition claims filed against debtors
  • How trustees and the court determine the extent of property of the estate
  • Special rules for conversion, dismissal, and denial of conversions
  • The "chapter 13 bankruptcy plan" is defined
  • The procedures for filing, amending, modifying and confirming a plan
  • How filing, modification, amendment, and confirmation affect the plan
  • Payment calculation under the means test requirement
  • The effect of confirmation
  • Why confirmation may be denied
  • The procedure discharging debts in chapter 13

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Law Sources

In addition to the Code, extensive bodies of chapter 13 bankruptcy law appear in judicial opinions, the Federal Rules of Evidence, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedures, and Local Bankruptcy rules adopted by each Federal Bankruptcy District. For a discussion of the major requirements of these provisions, see also -

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