Once you have completed payments under your plan, the Trustees office will begin to close your case. We will submit paperwork to the Court, usually within about thirty (30) days of the final payment, indicating that the payments required by your plan have been completed. The discharge is issued by the Office of the Clerk of Bankruptcy Court. Your may or may not be entitled to a discharge. Please contact your attorney if you have questions about getting a discharge.
We will not issue a Final Report and Account until all checks have cleared the bank. Therefore, the Final Report and Account may come substantially later than your discharge. Your Order for Discharge is extremely important. You should put your copy in a very safe place. While the Order for Discharge will be available later from the Bankruptcy Court if you lose your copy, they will charge you a substantial fee and there may be a delay in getting that paper to you. Remember, some creditors may require proof that you completed your Chapter 13 plan successfully in order for you to obtain credit.
If your bankruptcy case was filed after October 17, 2005, completion of the plan payments does not necessarily mean that you will receive a discharge. Among other requirements for a discharge, you must provide Local Form 2831 (Chapter 13 Case Completion Certificate) to your attorney. The Chapter 13 Case Completion Certificate must be filed with the Court withing 60 days of the Trustee's fililing of the certification that the debtor has made all payments to the Trustee. You should contact your attorney to determine whether you are eligible for a discharge and, if so, whether you have met all requirements for a discharge.
The Order of Discharge protects you against certain creditors and prohibits them from taking any unauthorized action against you after your case has been completed. If you have failed to pay a secured claim during your plan, however, then the lien on the collateral or property securing the debt may still exist despite the discharge. Also, some of your debts may not be discharged by the completion of your Chapter 13 plan. You should discuss these with your attorney and make plans to pay these debts that are not discharged.