There have been difficult financial situations for many Florida residents and others around the country in recent years. When consumers have evaluated their options and made the decision to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy or another type of bankruptcy, they expect the process to be rather straightforward. Unfortunately, there are not standard forms used throughout the nation. However, a new form for Chapter 13 filings that should bring about some consistency was put into place on Dec. 1.
Several forms used in bankruptcy proceedings were amended. Officials hope that these changes will speed up the process and allow consumers to have their plans finalized faster. Bankruptcy experts contend that one standardized Chapter 13 plan form would be the ideal. The absence of a single form allows for the use of local forms. Although a national form was not implemented, the changes made were considered steps in the right direction.
Though a Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows filers to keep their property, a plan must be included that details how debts will be repaid. The repayment plan is typically for three to five years. One new rule approved this month is that unless there is a local form plan, the new form should be used. However, according to a legal research company, the majority of districts have opted out of the national form, citing the need for nonstandard provisions to the plan.
In addition, proofs of claim must now be filed by creditors within 70 days of the petition date, shortened from 90 days. This helps those filing understand the debts for which they may be responsible. A plan can be put in place more quickly for consumers.
Financial hardships and how to deal with them can be overwhelming. It can be difficult to determine if filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best option or if another solution is better. A Florida bankruptcy attorney can provide valuable guidance in developing a plan to get a client’s financial situation back on track.
Source: bna.com, “New Bankruptcy Rules, Chapter 13 Plan Form, in Effect Dec. 1”, Diane Davis, Dec. 1, 2017