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Skeleton Filing

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    Skeleton Filing

    Approaching the Zero Hour with Barbarians at the Gate -- I can't have the Sheriff breaking into the garage to repossess the car. So I'm going to proceed with an emergency / skeleton filing. Can one amend or modify the Chapter 13 plan before confirmation, and how does one go about that, i.e. through motions or just submitting a new petition?

    These are things you need to learn. Do you have a guidebook such as NoLo's guidebook to filing a Chapter 13? You have a steep learning curve on what it takes to file a skeleton. Your local district likely has a local rules page which you must follow. On the local rules they may have which forms are required for a skeleton petition filing. Generally it's Schedule 1 (the petition), plus the list of creditors (the matrix), and maybe a couple of other forms and/or local forms. Your plan MUST follow in 14 days along with the remainder of the petition.

    I can't really explain the process because it is detailed. You may even be required to serve the plan, notice of bankruptcy, and other items on every single creditor since you're filing a skeleton. Those are things your clerk of the bankruptcy court, or your assigned clerk, can answer as procedural questions.

    Now, to answer your question: Chapter 13 plans are amended many times before confirmation. Since the Plan is a type of negotiation of a contract, there will be many amendments especially when someone is Pro Se. You can file an amendment, but there are procedural things you must do. (For example, you will need to serve the plan on all the creditors again, provide proof of service, update the schedules, re-certify the schedules, etc.)

    You should get the guidebook to learn what you need to do every time you amend a form or the Plan. If you don't, you'll get a lot of deficiency notices, abatements, and notices that your case will be dismissed.

    You cannot amend the plan after confirmation. That's a different process known as Plan Modification which is more in depth.
    Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
    Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
    Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

    Any advice provided is not legal advice, but simply the musings of a fellow bankrupt.


      Thanks JustBroke -- the skeleton is easy, I looked it over and I can file online with PDF files (apparently the Court is still in Covid-mode). I'm ready to pull the trigger as soon as I'm served with a Replevin lawsuit.

      I do have the Nolo Chapter 13 book, as well as "Represent Yourself in Court," but you're right, it definitely appears to be a steep learning curve. I'm worried about filing and going through the 5 year commitment, but I may be able to convert to a Chapter 7 after 3 years have elapsed. The goal is to somehow hold onto the vehicle I purchased for "business use."


        TurnThePage Chapter 13 isn't the solution to a free car. In a chapter 13, you need to pay the future monthly payments and the arrears you missed over 36-60 months. If you don't pay either, the lender can very quickly restart the replevin or repo with a motion for relief from stay which is usually granted. All you've done is delayed the inevitable by 2-3 months. It takes a lot of work to create a chapter 13 plan that the court and the trustee will approve. Your chances of getting the plan confirmed are nearly zero without an attorney and his fancy and expensive lawyer software to crunch the numbers. Without a lawyer, you attempt to cram down is nearly zero as well. The trustee has a team of lawyers and you don't. The lender has a lawyer as well and on a 2021 car, they will likely make an appearance in your case if you try to cram down.

        I think you need to step back and figure out what your end goal for your entire financial future and not focus on the 2021 vehicle. This Uber and taxi business doesn't seem to be the financial salvation you need. It feels like Uber is simply a bucket to take out the water from the sinking Titanic. One idea is to keep the 2004 Passport and surrender the 2021 car to the repo man and forget the Uber/taxi business. Go back to supporting yourself on the day job and pay only what you can afford on one day job into a 13. At the end, you discharge the rest of the debts and move on. Or do the CH7 if eligible and move on.
        Last edited by flashoflight; 07-18-2022, 01:11 PM.


          Flashoflight, I was basically told the same thing before I attempted an Adversary Proceeding against the Department of Education. I won pro se. My attorney wanted $5000 as a retainer for that mini-lawsuit.

          Of course I realize that a Chapter 13 doesn't award me a free car. Yes, I've considered the reduced monthly payments in a cramdown. The arrears and whatever "deficiency balance" becomes unsecured in a cramdown. The creditor loses in any scenario if I do my homework.


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