Please Note: Given the increased rate of case filings and the limited time and resources available, the Office of the Chapter 13 Trustee is trying to balance the competing goals of timely completion of the sec. 341 First Meetings of Creditors and the statutory obligation to allow examination of debtors at this hearing. The following suggestions are offered to meet these goals and obligations.
1. Review this procedure with your client before the case being called.
2. FOR THE RECORD:
The Trustee or Staff Attorney for the Trustee will:
a. Swear in each debtor.
b. Verify photo identification and social security number of each debtor.
c. Ask each debtor to verify his/her name and address.
d. Verify that payments to fund the plan have commenced.
NOTE: Many debtors are confused as to the exact date their plan payments begin. Our office suggests (in general) that counsel advise the client to make the first payment before the date of the original 341 hearing.
3. Verify that the information provided in the plan and schedules as filed is true and correct.
4. Make sure that your client has reviewed the plan and schedules before the hearing and is familiar with the information provided therein. There will be questions asked regarding that information, including the terms of the plan as proposed.
5. If there is no payroll order in effect, your client should be prepared to justify that position if the client is employed (that is, not merely receiving pension/social security, etc.). The trustees office believes that a payroll order should be in place whenever the debtor(s) is/are employed. The failure to fund a plan is the primary reason that Chapter 13 plans fail. This will be ameliorated by the institution of a payroll order.
6. Take questions from creditors, if any.
7. Advise whether additional information is required, whether the matter will be recommended for confirmation and upon what terms, or whether the matter will be adjourned to a future date and the reasons for the adjournment.