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Will standardizing Chapter 13 plans make them more clear?

One of the reasons the average debtor in Louisville who files a Chapter 13 bankruptcy hires a bankruptcy attorney is to ensure the Chapter 13 plan is properly put together, and that the rest of their filing is done in accordance with the Bankruptcy Code.

The bankruptcy attorney can also answer questions and provide experienced guidance as they make decisions concerning their financial future. The creation of a viable Chapter 13 plan is the centerpiece of an individual's bankruptcy. 

The Chapter 13 plan is essentially a budget that will dictate the debtor's spending for the duration of the plan, typically three to five years. The current forms used to create these plans are 20 years old, and the bankruptcy courts are considering an update.

These changes would make it easier to fill out and reduce the likelihood of errors. It can be expensive to fix a mistake and in some circumstances, it could result in the dismissal of the case.

The new forms will have better instructions and explain what is necessary to file the bankruptcy.

The more complete instructions may cause more debtors to look for help from a bankruptcy attorney, as they may better disclose the complexities of what is necessary to properly file a bankruptcy.

The more standardized forms will also make the work of judges easier, since the information will be uniform and it is hoped, more accurate, and will ensure debtors receive equal treatment.

The changes to the forms and schedules are approved, could take affect by December 1, 2015.

Source: Akron Legal News, "Changes in the works for Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings," Sherry Karabin, November 15, 2013

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