Chapter 13 Trustee Eastern District Of Kentucky Chapter 13 Confirmation Procedure effective August 1, 2000 Chapter 13 Plan: A standardized plan has been adopted for this district for all chapter 13 cases filed on or after August 1, 2000. The standardized plan is the centerpiece of the revised chapter 13 confirmation and delinquency procedures. It will: facilitate the review of the plan for feasibility offer consistency in the language of common plan provisions while retaining the flexibility needed to address debtors’ special circumstances eliminate common reasons for defective plan notices and pre-confirmation plan amendments provide secured creditors with early information about how their claims are to be treated, which in turn means an early bar date for filing objections to confirmation can be set speed up confirmation so that some plans can be confirmed immediately following the 341 meeting of creditors, and most plans should be confirmable within 30 days after the 341 enable more accurate tracking of plan payment requirements as compared to payments actually made The plan is presently available as a Microsoft Word template from the Chapter 13 Trustee or the Bankruptcy Court, and it will soon be available in a WordPerfect format as well. Instructions for using the standardized plan explain the reasons for including certain provisions, and point out variances between current practice and the standardized plan. With the use of a standardized plan, the time-frame needed for confirmation can be abbreviated. The first confirmation hearing will be about 30 days after the 341 meeting, and the second confirmation hearing, which will be conducted by the court, will take place approximately 30 days after the first confirmation hearing. Previously, the 341 meeting and confirmation hearings were scheduled 60 days apart. Defective Plan Notice: The Trustee will notify debtor’s counsel if there are problems preventing plan confirmation by serving on debtor’s counsel a Defective Plan Notice (“orange sheet”). The Defective Plan Notice may be amended and supplemented prior to confirmation as necessary. Creditors’ Objections to Confirmation: Any creditor objecting to the treatment of its claim in the chapter 13 plan must file and serve on the Trustee an objection on or before the date and time first set for the Meeting of Creditors in Divisions other than Lexington. In Lexington Division cases, creditors’ objections must be filed and served on the Trustee within ten (10) days following the Meeting of Creditors. Creditors and creditors’ counsel should be aware that in the absence of an objection, the value of their collateral is established by the debtor’s plan. The Trustee in this district does not make an independent determination of the value of property subject to liens. If an objection to confirmation is filed, the Court will schedule an evidentiary hearing to be conducted approximately 60 days following the Meeting of Creditors. This evidentiary hearing and second confirmation hearing will be conducted by the Court at the same time. 341 Meeting of Creditors: If no objections to confirmation have been timely filed, and if the Trustee has not served on debtor’s counsel a Defective Plan Notice and does not intend to serve a Defective Plan Notice following the 341 meeting, the Trustee will tender to the Court an order confirming the chapter 13 plan. First Confirmation Hearing: The notice of the confirmation hearing is combined with the notice of the meeting of creditors that is sent to all creditors. The first confirmation hearing is conducted by the Trustee’s office about 30 days following the meeting of creditors. The debtor is not required to attend the confirmation hearing; however, the debtor’s presence may be beneficial to the parties depending on the nature of the objections to the plan. If the Trustee has served a Defective Plan Notice on counsel for the debtor, or if a creditor has filed an objection to confirmation and the objection is unresolved, or if a motion for relief from stay has been filed, debtor’s counsel is required to attend the first confirmation hearing. At that hearing any problems that can be resolved by the parties should be resolved, and the appropriate amendments, agreed orders and other needed documentation should be filed within 15 days thereafter to allow for confirmation. The confirmation hearing will be continued for approximately 30 days and will be scheduled for hearing on the Court’s docket. The Trustee is instructed not to continue the confirmation hearing to the Trustee’s docket for any reason, and not to continue the confirmation hearing for a longer period than the approximately 30-40 days until the Court’s next motion day. If there are no unresolved objections to confirmation from the Trustee or any creditor, counsel for the debtor is not required to attend the hearing. The Trustee’s office will give notice of cases which can be confirmed without a hearing (the “short-list”) to the Court and to the appropriate counsel for the debtors no later than approximately 5 days prior to the date of the first confirmation hearing. The Trustee will tender to the Court an order confirming the plan. The Trustee will not file a Trustee’s Report and Recommendation prior to the first confirmation hearing. The TR&R is not needed to advise debtors’ counsel of whether the plan is confirmable; the Defective Plan Notice will serve that purpose. And the TR&R is no longer needed to advise secured creditors of how their claims are to be treated under the plan; the standardized plan serves that purpose. 2 Second Confirmation Hearing and Valuation Hearing: Problems addressed in the Defective Plan Notice must be cured within 15 days after the first confirmation hearing in order to obtain a favorable recommendation from the Trustee as to confirmation. The Trustee will file a Trustee’s Report and Recommendation approximately 7 to 10 days prior to the second confirmation hearing. If the Trustee recommends confirmation of the plan and objections to confirmation have been resolved by agreed order or otherwise, the Trustee’s office will tender to the Court an order confirming the plan. The Trustee’s office will give notice of cases which can be confirmed without a hearing (the “short- list”) to the Court and to the appropriate counsel for the debtors approximately 5 days prior to the date of the confirmation hearing so that the cases can be removed from the Court’s docket. The confirmation hearing in cases which are not “short-listed” will be conducted by the Court. The Court does not require attendance of the debtors at confirmation hearings which it conducts. In addition, any valuation hearing or other hearing on a creditor’s objection to confirmation will be conducted by the Court at the same time as the second confirmation hearing. At the second confirmation hearing, the Court will not take any papers for filing such as last minute agreed orders, last minute amended plans, etc. The Court will consider only what has been properly and timely filed in time for all parties to react to it. Motion to Continue Confirmation Hearing: If a debtor has special problems such as tax claims that require more time to address, debtor’s counsel should file a motion to continue the second confirmation hearing and set forth in the motion the reasons for the requested continuance and a proposed time frame needed to resolve the issues. The motion to continue must be noticed for hearing no later than the date of the second confirmation hearing. The Court may, upon request of the Trustee or of any secured creditor, direct counsel for the debtor to tender agreed orders of adequate protection so that payments can be made to secured creditors during the extended period needed for confirmation. Payment Delinquencies at Time of Confirmation: No case will be confirmed unless the debtors are substantially current in payments, both to the Trustee and to secured creditors. If the debtors have not made any payments within 40 days after the plan is filed, the Trustee will file a motion to dismiss the case which will be heard by the Court in lieu of the first confirmation hearing. Cases in which the debtors are not substantially current in payments at the second confirmation hearing will be dismissed at that hearing. The failure of debtors to be substantially current in payments is not a valid reason for requesting that the second confirmation hearing be continued. Notice of Allowance of Claims: After the bar date for filing proofs of claims by governmental units, the Trustee will serve on debtor, debtor’s counsel, and all creditors a Notice of Allowance of Claims, which will set forth how the Trustee’s office has set up all filed claims for payment. By the time this Notice is served, disbursements on claims filed as secured will have commenced. It is advisable that debtor’s counsel review all claims filed as secured so that disbursements will not be made on claims which were filed as secured but which the debtor believes are unsecured. See Standardized Plan Instructions, Section III.F, for more information. Parties will have 10 days in which to object to the Notice of Allowance of Claims. In the absence of objections, the claims will be deemed allowed.
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