Part I: Is Chapter 13 Right for You?

1. How Chapter 13 Works

An Overview of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Which Debts Are Discharged in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Is Chapter 13 Right for You?
Alternatives to Bankruptcy

2. The Automatic Stay

How Long the Stay Lasts
How the Stay Affects Common Collection Actions
How the Stay Affects Actions Against Codebtors
When the Stay Doesn’t Apply

3. Are You Eligible to Use Chapter 13?

Prior Bankruptcy Discharges May Postpone Your Chapter 13 Discharge
Business Entities Can’t File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Your Debts Must Not Be Too High
You Must Be Current on Your Income Tax Filings
You Must Keep Making Your Child Support and Alimony Payments
You Must File Annual Income and Expense Reports
Your Proposed Repayment Plan Must Pay All Required Debts
Your Proposed Payments Must Equal the Value of Your Nonexempt Assets
You Must Participate in an Approved Personal Financial Management Course

4. Do You Have to Use Chapter 13?

Can You Pass the Means Test?
Forced Conversion to Chapter 13

5. Can You Propose a Plan the Judge Will Approve?

If Your Current Monthly Income Is Less Than Your State’s Median Income
If Your Current Monthly Income Is More Than Your State’s Median Income
Understanding Property Exemptions

6. Making the Decision

Part II: Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

7. Complete Your Bankruptcy Forms

Get Some Information From the Court
Required Forms
For Married Filers
Form 1—Voluntary Petition
Form 6—Schedules
Form 7—Statement of Financial Affairs
Form 21—Statement of Social Security Number
Form 22C—Statement of Current Monthly Income and Means -- Test Calculation
Form 201—Notice to Individual Consumer Debtor Under §342(b) of the Bankruptcy Code
Mailing Matrix
Income Deduction Order

8. Drafting Your Plan

Chapter 13 Plan Formats
What You Must Pay
Repayment of Unsecured Debts: Allowed Claims
A Model Plan Format
Sample Plan

9. Filing Your Bankruptcy Papers

Gather the Necessary Documents
Get Filing Information From the Court
How to File Your Papers
After You File

10. Handling Routine Matters After You File

The Automatic Stay
Dealing With the Trustee
Make Your First Payment
If You Operate a Business
The Meeting of Creditors
Modifying Your Plan Before the Confirmation Hearing
The Confirmation Hearing
Modifying Your Plan After the Confirmation Hearing
Amending Your Bankruptcy Forms
Filing a Change of Address
Filing Tax Returns
Filing Annual Income and Expense Statements
Personal Financial Management Counseling

Part III: Making Your Plan Work

11. Handling Legal Issues

Filing Motions
Dealing With Creditors’ Motions
If an Unsecured Creditor Objects to Your Plan
Handling Creditors’ Claims
Asking the Court to Eliminate Liens

12. Carrying Out Your Plan

Making Plan Payments
Selling Property
Modifying Your Plan When Problems Come Up
Attempts to Revoke Your Confirmation
When You Complete Your Plan

13. If You Cannot Complete Your Plan

Dismiss Your Case
Convert Your Case to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Seek a Hardship Discharge

14. Life After Bankruptcy

Rebuilding Your Credit
Attempts to Collect Clearly Discharged Debts
Postbankruptcy Discrimination
Attempts to Revoke Your Discharge

15. Help Beyond the Book

Debt Relief Agencies
Bankruptcy Petition Preparers
Bankruptcy Lawyers
Legal Research


Appendix A: State and Federal Exemption Charts

Residency Requirements for Claiming State Exemptions
Exemptions for Retirement Accounts
Individual State and Federal Charts

Appendix B: Tear-Out Forms

Voluntary Petition
Exhibit C to Voluntary Petition
Exhibit D to Voluntary Petition
Schedule A -- Real Property
Schedule B -- Personal Property
Schedule C -- Property Claimed as Exempt
Schedule D -- Creditors Holding Secured Claims
Schedule E -- Creditors Holding Unsecured Priority Claims
Schedule F -- Creditors Holding Unsecured Nonpriority Claims
Schedule G -- Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases
Schedule H -- Codebtors
Schedule I -- Current Income of Individual Debtor(s)
Schedule J -- Current Expenditures of Individual Debtor(s)
Declaration Concerning Debtor’s Schedules
Summary of Schedules and Statistical Summary of Certain Liabilities and Related Data
Form 3A -- Application and Order to Pay Filing Fee in Installments
Form 7 -- Statement of Financial Affairs
Form 10 -- Proof of Claim
Form 20A -- Notice of Motion or Objection
Form 21 -- Statement of Social Security Number(s)
Form 22A -- Statement of Current Monthly Income and Means-Test Calculation
Form 22C -- ChaStatement of Current Monthly Income and Calculation of Commitment Period and Disposable Income
Form 23 -- Debtor’s Certification of Completion of Postpetition Instructional Course Concerning Personal Financial Management
Form 201 -- Notice to Individual Consumer Debtor Under § 342(b) of the Bankruptcy Code Amendment Cover Sheet
Daily Expenses
Notice of Plan Amendment and Confirmation Hearing Date
Proof of Service by Mail
Chapter 13 Repayment Plan

Appendix C: Charts

Median Family Income Chart
Bankruptcy Forms Checklist
Bankruptcy Documents Checklist