Your New District Wide Chapter 13 Plan

On December 1, 2016 the Bankruptcy Courts for the Southern District of Ohio instituted a new district wide Chapter 13 Plan.  There are three court locations in this district: Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton.  Before December 1, 2016 all three court locations used different versions of the Chapter 13 Plan.  They each had their own local nuances and didn’t mirror one another.  Now, all three locations are using the same form.  So what does that mean for your case?

Where Can You Find the New Plan?

The Southern District of Ohio Bankruptcy Court’s website provides a link to the new plan document (https://www.ohsb.uscourts.gov/mandatory-chapter-13-form-plans).  You can find instructions on how to fill out the form at https://www.ohsb.uscourts.gov/pdffiles/Mandatory%20Form%20Plan%20Instructions.pdf.

Notice to Creditors

One of the first changes you notice appears on page 1.  The third box under Paragraph 1 sets forth notices to your creditors.  Here you are specifically stating whether any nonstandard provisions appear in Paragraph 13, and if you are applying any special treatment to different secured debts (cramming down debt amounts or trying to avoid a secured interest).  This notice section did not appear in previous versions of the Chapter 13 Plan and the creditors would have to scan through the entire document to see the proposed treatment of their debt.

Debtor Disbursed vs. Trustee Disbursed

The new district wide Chapter 13 Plan makes some of the information easier to read and understand.  All of the types of debt that can either be Trustee Disbursed or Debtor Disbursed are laid out easier to see and understand.  Some of these debt areas include mortgage payments, lease assumptions, and domestic support obligations (see Paragraph 5).

Tax Refunds

Another area that is important to individuals is what happens to your annual tax refund.    Prior to this new plan each court would treat your tax refund differently.  Paragraph 8 of the Plan deals with this topic and unifies how all three courts will respond.  Clients will now be able to keep the greater of $3,000 or any earned income credit (EIC) and/or additional child tax credit.

Insurance

Another new section can be found in Paragraph 10 Insurance.  All three court locations require Debtors to provide insurance information for real and personal property.  The Dayton Court did not previously require this information.

All in all the new Chapter 13 Plan is a good document and will make life easier when filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case.