What questions can I get answers to if I sit in the creditor meetings in the course of Ch 13 proceedings?
Saint Louis, MO |
Can I find out what share of the unsecured debt owed to all creditors will I be given once we meet for the creditor and trustee meeting during Ch 13 proceeding?
What other questions are common in such meetings?
Your inquiry seems to show your interest in ch 13, is as a creditor.
Creditors do not do well in bankruptcy, unless they are secured to valuable collateral.
As my colleague has indicated, you may not learn much from attending creditors' meetings, except that you can ask questions about the transactions of the debtor, if you do not believe the schedules are correct and complete, or if there are some unusual facts to discover.
General questions are answered by the debtor, such as, are there any changes in the schedules filed, and are there any changes in employment, etc.
To find out what share of the unsecured debt unsecured creditors may receive, does not require attendance at a creditors' meeting.
That information is usually contained in a copy of a plan sent to all creditors, and is available by reviewing the latest filed plan, in the case, which can be done online using a Pacer account.
The dividend return to unsecured creditors is usually between 1% and 100% spread over the term of the plan.
General legal advice is offered for educational purposes only. A consultation with a qualified attorney is required to determine specific legal advice as to your situation and applicable law. We are a debt relief agency and we help people file for relief under the bankruptcy laws.
I assume you're asking what you can learn by observing meetings in other cases. Not much, frankly. Trustees are typically interested only in making sure that the information in the schedules is accurate. Sitting in on confirmation hearings before the judge would be more instructive. But why are you going to all this trouble? Your attorney (and you should definitely hire one, because you will no more succeed at a DIY chapter 13 case than you would at DIY brain surgery) can answer your questions a lot more quickly.
Assuming that you are a creditor, you may be permitted to ask a few relevant questions at the 341 meeting. You will be entitled to look at the debtor's financial records, such as tax returns & I would suggest you do this. It is unlikely that you will learn much from the Debtor & in my opinion, if you want to find out if you will get paid anything, I would suggest you look at Schedules A, B & C, which will allow you to calculate what property the Debtor owns that is not exempt and that the Trustee can take to sell for the benefit of the Creditors. The tax return will tell you whether the Debtor gets a tax refund, which is a common source of money to be disbursed to creditors.
Generally,Chapter 13 Creditors Meetings are not especially illuminating for creditors.The Trustee may allow a few relevant questions but time constraints and the number of cases on the list usually mean that extensive examination is not in the cards.I find that you can learn a lot more about a filing by downloading the Debtors Petition from PACER (an online national bankruptcy filing record) and an examination of the Claims Docket(also on PACER) Since this site requires an account to be set up you should contact and consult with local Bankruptcy counsel to assist you.
Also be advised that the Plan of Reorganization presented at the Meeting might not necessarily be the one that is ultimately confirmed by the Court.There might be ammendments of any number of schedules or the Plan.You can also keep track of this on PACER.The Claims Docket is important because it will reveal the claims of other Creditors that have filed and that you(as an unsecured creditor) will be sharing any distribution with.Unlike chapter 7's the Chapter 13 Trustee does not liquidate the Debtors property.Checking the list of property on Schedules A,B,and C would be helpful,however, to determine whether the Debtor has "exempted" all or some of his property.In the event that there is non-exempt property,the Debtor will have to pay at least the amount of the non-exempt property value into the Plan.Again,this can all be discussed with local Bankruptcy counsel.I'm sure you will get the information you are looking for after the download.Good Luck.
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