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Modifying a Chapter 13 repayment plan

In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, getting the repayment plan right is an important matter. The repayment plan must not only serve to pay back creditors, but it must also be feasible for the debtor. Although courts are guided by specific criteria in establishing a repayment plan, sometimes it is necessary to seek amendments and modifications of repayment plans.

Under the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, parties may request that a repayment plan be amended before it has been confirmed or modified even after it has been confirmed. There are various reasons why a party may make such a request. Regardless of the reason, the procedure is for the proponent to file a proposed amendment or modification with the court.

When that is done, at least 21 days of notice of the deadline for filing objections is supposed to be provided to the debtor, the trustee and all creditors. Notice is also supposed to be provided of the date of the hearing to consider proposed modifications. Objections to the proposed modification are supposed to be filed and served to the debtor, the trustee, and on any other party identified by the court, and thereafter addressed.

Under local rules for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, repayment plans which are amended prior to confirmation by the bankruptcy court and which materially affect creditors, as well as repayment plans for which modification is sought after confirmation, follow the above procedure. Repayment plans for which amendment is sought prior to confirmation and which will not have a materially adverse affect on creditors do not require notice to be served, provided notice has previously been given in a prior plan that such a modification may be filed. Creditors who would be materially adversely affected by a modification, though, must still be provided notice.

Those who are considering Chapter 13 bankruptcy should always work with an experienced attorney to ensure they have guidance navigating the process and advocacy establishing a repayment plan with which they can succeed.

Sources:

Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, Rule 3015 (g)

United States Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, Local Rule 3015

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