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Chapter 11 Process

1. Prior to the bankruptcy filing, the new bankruptcy law provides that an individual debtor, whether or not engaged in business) must complete a credit counseling session with an approved credit counselor. Read more about the New Bankruptcy Law…

2. Debtor must sign a written retainer agreement and retain a lawyer prior to the bankruptcy with the fee paid prior to the filing of the bankruptcy.  

3. Client must review and sign the bankruptcy petition forms for Chapter 11.

4. Attorney files the Chapter 11 and the court date stamps all forms and issues a case number. The automatic stay of Bankruptcy prevents creditors from continuing to collect their debts. Read more about Emergency Bankruptcy filings….

5. Upon application of the debtor, the court designates the debtor as the “Responsible Party” for the Chapter 11 proceeding on behalf of the Corporation which has filed for Chapter 11. 

6.  There is no need for the court to assign a Chapter 11 Trustee to the case, as the debtor serves as its own trustee, called a “Debtor in possession.”  The US Trustee’s office schedules a first interview with the debtor which is scheduled prior to the Meeting of Creditors.  Upon application, the court approves the employment of an attorney for the Debtor in possession and any other professionals, such as accountants, that the Debtor in possession wishes to employ.

7. The court serves written notice of the bankruptcy filing and Meeting of Creditors on all of the creditors and debtor.  Although the debtor’s bankruptcy schedules will indicate an amount owing to each creditor, the creditor is responsible for filing and will be paid according to its Proof of Claim form unless the Debtor in possession objects to the claim.

8. At least seven days prior to the Meeting of Creditors, the debtor must provide copies of his or her current year’s tax return and payroll stubs (received within six months prior to the filing of the Chapter 11 petition if debtor is an individual) to the US trustee.

9. The debtor attends the first interview with the Office of the US Trustee, which inquires of debtor’s plans and obtains documents regarding debtor’s operations if debtor is a business, assets, and other documents.

10. The debtor attends the Meeting of Creditors, which is presided over by the US trustee. After asking questions of the client’s assets, income, payments to creditors prior to bankruptcy, if any, and generally confirming the veracity of the paperwork, the trustee allows other creditors who attend to ask questions as well.  

11. The Court establishes cut off dates for filing of the disclosure statement and plan in Chapter 11 at the status conference held for the Debtor in possession.  The Debtor in possession has the exclusive right to file the Chapter 11 Plan within the first 4 months.  In addition, the Debtor in possession has six months to gain acceptances of the Chapter 11 Plan by creditors.

12. The Debtor must begin to file Monthly Operating Reports which summarize debtor’s monthly income and expenses.

13. The court holds a  hearing to confirm debtor’s Disclosure Statement and Chapter 11 Plan.  If the Chapter 11 Plan and Disclosure Statement are in proper form and the plan has been accepted by the creditors, the Chapter 11 Plan is confirmed by the court in a confirmation hearing. If the debtor is an individual, he or she will be granted a discharge when the plan has been performed.

14. For the period of time provided by the terms of the Chapter 11 plan, the Debtor will continue to make Chapter 11 plan payments.

15. The debtor, if an individual, must complete the Financial Management Course requirement by attending a financial management course offered by an approved provider. 

16. Once the debtor completes all payments required under the Chapter 11 Plan and the Financial Management Course, the debtor petitions for and the court grants debtor’s Chapter 11 Discharge.

About Author

Keith F. Carr is an attorney practicing Bankruptcy, Divorce, and Estate Planning. Attorney Keith F. Carr has over 30 years experience. Founder of Law Offices of Keith F. Carr, located in San Francisco, San Jose, and Palo Alto, Ca.

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