HOW CHAPTER 13
Between 20 and 50 days after the debtor
files the chapter 13 petition, the chapter 13 trustee will hold a
meeting of creditors. If the U.S. trustee or bankruptcy
administrator schedules the meeting at a place that does not have
regular U.S. trustee or bankruptcy administrator staffing, the
meeting may be held no more than 60 days after the debtor files.
Fed. R. Bankr. P. 2003(a). During this meeting, the trustee places
the debtor under oath, and both the trustee and creditors may ask
questions. The debtor must attend the meeting and answer questions
regarding his or her financial affairs and the proposed terms of
the plan.11 U.S.C. § 343. If a husband and wife file a joint
petition, they both must attend the creditors’ meeting and
answer questions. In order to preserve their independent judgment,
bankruptcy judges are prohibited from attending the creditors’
meeting. 11 U.S.C. § 341(c). The parties typically resolve
problems with the plan either during or shortly after the
creditors’ meeting. Generally, the debtor can avoid problems by
making sure that the petition and plan are complete and accurate,
and by consulting with the trustee prior to the meeting.
In a chapter 13 case, to participate in
distributions from the bankruptcy estate, unsecured creditors must
file their claims with the court within 90 days after the first
date set for the meeting of creditors. Fed. R. Bankr. P. 3002(c).
A governmental unit, however, has 180 days from the date the case
is filed file a proof of claim.11 U.S.C. § 502(b)(9).