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New rules will affect Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases

Ohio consumers who are considering filing for bankruptcy might want to be aware of new rules that may affect their cases. The rules, which were issued by Chief Justice John Roberts of the Supreme Court of the United States in April and sent to Congress, will modify several aspects of Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings.

One of the changes is the inclusion of a mandatory form that will be used when filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases. This standard form must be used unless local jurisdictions have adopted different forms that comply with the rules. The purpose of this change is to streamline Chapter 13 filings so that it will be easier for creditors to find how the debtors are proposing to treat their claims in their cases.

Another portion deals with the filing of proofs of claim by secured creditors in Chapter 13 proceedings. It does clarify that the failure to file a proof of claim will not mean that a lien is voided, however. The rule makes the deadlines for filing a valid proof of claim shorter. The clerk must provide at least 21 days of notice of the deadline for creditors to object to the Chapter 13 plan's confirmation. Finally, an amendment offers mechanisms by which the courts can determine the amounts to allocate to secured and priority claims.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings involve repayment plans that last either three or five years, allowing debtors time to catch up on such things as their mortgages while also keeping more property than they might if they instead filed Chapter 7 bankruptcies. Debtors might want to talk to their attorneys about which chapter they might be eligible to file under.

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