The following are important procedure points related to Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the state of Connecticut.
Debtors and their counsel must comply with the following rules and procedures to properly prepare a case for confirmation. You must telephone the Trustee’s office at least one week prior to the confirmation hearing to notify the Trustee of your intent to proceed with confirmation and to ensure that a case is ready for confirmation.
1) Motion for extension of time
The schedules, statements and plan shall be filed together with the petition or within 15 days thereafter. See, F.R.B.P. Rules 1007( c) and 3015(b). Any proposed extension of time for the filing of a plan and/or schedules must be requested by motion filed prior to the expiration of the filing deadline and ordered by the Court.
Motions for extension of time must include the Trustee’s position regarding the requested extension.
The trustee will not consent to extensions beyond seven days prior to the date originally scheduled for the 341 meeting of creditors.
The Bankruptcy Court files a Motion to Dismiss each case if the plan or schedules are not filed with the petition. The Trustee will request dismissal of a case pursuant to the Court’s motion if the plan or schedules are not timely filed.
2) Identification at hearing:
The debtor(s) must bring government issued photo identification and their social security card or other original documentation verifying their social security number to the 341 meeting of creditors.
3) Chapter 13 payments:
Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 1326(a) debtors must commence making the payments proposed by the plan within 30 days after the original plan is filed. Payments must be made in the form of a bank check or money order made payable to ‘MOLLY T. WHITON, Trustee’ and mailed to:
MOLLY T. WHITON, CHAPTER 13 TRUSTEE
P. O. Box 610 Memphis, TN 38101-0610
Include the case name and number on each check to ensure proper crediting. Retain a copy of all payments sent to the Trustee. Trustee cannot accept cash.
This address is for plan payments only, please continue to send correspondence to 10 Columbus Blvd, Hartford, CT 06106.
4) Claims register:
The claims register must be reviewed prior to the confirmation hearing. If proofs of claim have not been filed prior to the bar date for any priority or secured claims proposed to be paid by the plan, file a claim on behalf of the creditor pursuant to F.R.B.P. Rule 3004.
Discrepancies between proofs of claim on file and the amounts provided for by the plan must be resolved by amending the plan or by filing objections to the claims and having the objections ruled upon prior to the confirmation hearing.
5) Required notice for amended plans:
If an amended plan adversely affects the rights of any party, then the amended plan must be noticed to all parties adversely affected at least 25 days prior to the scheduled confirmation hearing.
For example an increase in the term of the plan from 3 years to 5 years is an adverse amendment. Plans must be signed by both the debtor(s)and the attorney.
6) Interest on Connecticut real estate taxes:
Real estate taxes are secured claims, not priority claims, and must be paid with interest at the applicable rate pursuant to non-bankruptcy law.
For example Connecticut real estate taxes receive 18%. See, 11 U.S.C. 511. State and federal tax liens are also secured claims and receive interest at the applicable rate pursuant to non-bankruptcy law. 11 U.S.C. 511.
Other secured claims entitled to interest receive the prime rate plus two percentage points, absent expert testimony to the contrary. Automobile taxes and other personal property taxes are either priority claims or unsecured claims. See 11USC 507(a)(8).
7) Motion for determination of secured status of claims:
The order regarding any Motion for Determination of Secured Status of Claims pursuant to 11 USC 506(a) must enter prior to the confirmation hearing or the plan will not be confirmed.
Absent a dispute regarding the amount of a claim, the amounts set forth in the 506(a) order should conform to any proofs of claims filed by the affected creditors.
8) Labeling amended plans:
If necessary, amend the plan, the income (I) and expense (J) schedules and any other schedules to incorporate an change in circumstances, correct inaccuracies, and ensure the income shown is substantiated by the information contained in the financial documentation submitted to the Trustee.
Amended plans and schedules should be dated and labeled ‘First Amended,’ ‘Second Amended,’ etc.
9) Necessary documents:
The following documents must be submitted to the Trustee at least seven days prior to the 11 USC 341 meeting of creditors.
10) When operating a business:
10. If the debtor or debtor’s spouse is operating a business, monthly operating statements for the current year must be filed each and every month with the court, the United States Trustee, the Standing Trustee and any governmental unit charged with responsibility for collection or determination of any tax arising out of such operation.
The operating reports must conform to the United States Trustee’s guidelines or generally accepted accounting principles.
Furthermore, in addition to the Business Questionnaire copies of the following forms with proof of payment must also be submitted to the Trustee. As to the federal government submit forms 1040 for estimated quarterly income taxes, 8109, 940(FTA), 941, and 941B. As to the state government submit forms 1040 for estimated quarterly income taxes, CT-941, CT-WH, UC-5A, and UC-2. See 11 USC 704(8), applicable to Chapter 13 through 11 USC 1304( c) and Bankruptcy Rule 2015(a) & ( c)(1).
Additionally, if the debtor’s business is a sole proprietorship and/or a “DBA” the debtor must open a debtor in possession bank account as soon as possible after the filing of the bankruptcy petition and provide the Trustee with copies of the monthly bank statements. See separate packet regarding debtor in possession accounts.
11) Business valuation reports:
11. If the debtor has an ownership interest in any non-publicly traded corporation, company, partnership or any other type of business entity, the following documentation must be submitted to the Trustee: a balance sheet reflecting the entities assets and liabilities as of the petition date, tax returns for said entity for the preceding two years, monthly operating reports for the current year to be submitted each and every month, as well as all other relevant information.
12) Rental property operating reports:
12. If the debtor owns rental property separate monthly operating reports for each property must be submitted to the Trustee each and every month.
Copies of executed leases for all current tenants must also be submitted.
13) Wage withholding information:
13. At least five days prior to the confirmation hearing, the debtor’s counsel shall submit the Trustee’s standard wage withholding/employer information sheet setting forth the debtor’s employer’s name and address including zip code at whatever address paychecks are produced for the purpose of the wage withholding order to the Trustee.
This sheet should also indicate the debtor’s employee identification number if any, how often the debtor is paid, which day of the week the paycheck is received and the date of the last paycheck. The Court serves the order confirming the plan.
14) Attorneys’ fees and timesheets:
14. Attorney time sheets supporting the fee requested must be submitted to the Trustee prior to the confirmation hearing. If the actual attorney fee is different from the amount stated in the original Rule 2016(b) statement, an amended 2016(b) statement must be filed.
An application for compensation may also be required.
15) Notice to parties in interest:
15. The Chapter 13 Trustee (MOLLY T. WHITON, ESQ.) And the United States Trustee are parties in interest regarding all matters in Chapter 13 cases and should be served accordingly.
16) Continuances and final hearings:
16. A case may be dismissed for a failure to cooperate with the Trustee or to timely provide all required documentation. See 11 USC 521. All requests for continuances must be made in writing.. The Trustee will not consent to more than one continuance except in extraordinary circumstances.
The Trustee will only consent to a continuance if the debtor(s) has made all required plan payments and complied with all court orders. Once any confirmation hearing is marked “Final” by the court, the plan must be confirmed on that date or the case dismissed or converted on or before that date.
17) Tax returns after confirmation:
17. Annually after the plan is confirmed and until the case is closed, a debtor(s) shall supply copies of all income tax returns as well as comply with 11 USC 522(f)(4) and provide all documents required by said section to the Trustee.
18) Personal financial management course:
18. After the filing of the petition, and prior to a plan’s consummation, a debtor must complete an instructional course concerning personal financial management as described in 11 USC 111 or the debtor will not be entitled to a discharge. 11 USC 1328(g)(1).
19) Motion for discharge:
19. If a debtor’s plan is consummated and the debtor is entitled to a discharge, the debtor or debtor’s counsel must file a motion for discharge within 30 days after the filing of Trustee’s final account with the bankruptcy court.
Attorney Dave Falvey is a Connecticut Consumer Bankruptcy Specialist:
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