Notice of Bankruptcy Case Filing
Notice of Filing of Chapter 13 case – this is the document generated when I file a case electronically. I am able to print out this document at my desk and hand it (or email it) to my client. This Notice of Filing can be important if you are facing a pending wage garnishment or vehicle repossession – you can show this Notice of Filing to the repo man or fax it to a persistent collector to document your Chapter 13 filing.
Note that this document contains an official seal from the United States Bankruptcy Court. This is equivalent to an official stamp issued by the Clerk of Court.
I always provide this Notice to my clients so that they will know for certain that their case has been filed. Until this notice is generated, you have no bankruptcy court protection.
Notice of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Case, Meeting of Creditors and Deadlines
Within a few days after filing your case, you will receive a notice in the mail entitled “Notice of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Case, Meeting of Creditors, & Deadlines. A copy of such a notice is reproduced below.
This is a very important notice because it sets out a lot of important information about your case. This Notice will be sent to you and to your creditors. You should read this Notice carefully.
First, it confirms that you have filed a case. If you are dealing with an aggressive or overzealous creditor, this notice will serve as official proof that you have filed bankruptcy and are protected by the automatic stay.
Second, this notice sets out your hearing dates. If you look towards the middle of the notice, you will see a section entitled “Meeting of Creditors.” This meeting is also called a “341 hearing” because Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code requires your attendance at this meeting. Notice that the date, time and location of your 341 hearing is specified here.
Note also that the 341 section advises you to bring two separate forms of ID to your meeting of creditors hearing. One form must be a picture ID and the second form must have your full Social Security number. If you show up to your 341 hearing without two separate forms of ID, the trustee will not hold the hearing and you will have to come back.
The next section of the Notice shows various deadlines. Deadlines to file proofs of claim are creditor deadlines – although your attorney will want to make note of these dates because the attorney must perform a proof of claim review following the expiration of the non-govermental unit claim date (also called the “bar date.”). Creditors also have a deadline to object to your exemptions.
Towards the bottom of the Notice is the date of your Confirmation hearing. In my view this date should be near the 341 hearing date but this is how the form is set up. Although you will most likely not need to attend a confirmation hearing this date is important because you and your attorney will need to work to resolve trustee objections by this date.
The second page of the Notice contains a summary of relevant bankruptcy laws. This section is directed towards creditors, although you should read it as well. Towards the bottom of the second page is a phone number you can call for case information and information about the PACER electronic access system.
Notice of Transfer of Claim
Even though creditors rights are limited by the automatic stay provisions of Chapter 13, you will find that debt buyers continue to buy and sell accounts. Large credit card lenders will often “sell paper” – the accounts receiveables for accounts in bankruptcy to third party debt buyers like B-Line or Roundup Funding.
Often these debt buyers purchase credit card or other accounts that are in bankruptcy for pennies on the dollar. For example, if you owe Citibank $3,500 and your Chapter 13 plan calls for a payment to unsecured creditors at 50%, the value of your account is $1,750 less a risk factor. A debt buyer may purchase this account for $250 and assume the risk of non-payment and administrative costs. If you successfully complete your plan, the debt buyer will make a nice profit.
Debt buyers do not purchase individual accounts – they buy pools of accounts receiveables. If your account happens to be in this pool, the debt buyer will file a notice with the Clerk of Court to document its ownership of this account.
Transfers of account ownership like this is perfectly acceptable as long as the debt buyer abides by the automatic stay provisions of the bankruptcy law and the terms of your confirmed Chapter 13 plan.
Here is an example of a notice that was filed in one of my client’s cases. In this situation, one debt buyer (B-Line) is selling a pool of receiveables to another debt buyer (Roundup Funding). My client received this notice and called because she did not know what this all meant. Now you know.