Best Practices



Frank M. Pees, Standing Chapter 13 Trustee
130 E. Wilson Bridge Rd., Suite 200
Worthington, Ohio 43085-6300
(614) 436-6700
(800) 282-1001
Revised July 2018

Attorney Checklist

This checklist is offered as assistance for your paralegal and/or office staff. This list is not a comprehensive and exhaustive catalog of any and all requirements which may be necessary to file a Chapter 13 case. These are areas which have been identified by the Trustee's office as repeat omissions.


Section I - General


Yes No
1. Has credit counseling been completed not more than 180 days prior to filing from approved agency, unless waiver is merited?
2. Are the secured debts less than $1,184,200.00?
3. Are the unsecured debts less than $394,725.00?
4. Has appraisal of real property been performed within the preceding twelve months? An auditor's valuation is acceptable if the property is being surrendered or is not subject to lien avoidance, cramdown, or bifurcation. Has the appraisal or auditor's valuation been filed before the Meeting of Creditors, as required by LBR 3015-3(e)(3)?
5. Has Debtor been informed that first Plan payment is due not later than 30 days after the date of the filing of the Plan or the order for relief, whichever is earlier, as required by 11 U.S.C. §1326(a)(1)?
6. Has the debtor been informed that, prior to confirmation, payments are to be made by money order, certified check, cashier's check, or a check drawn on the attorney's trust account and must be mailed to Trustee lockbox or paid electronically through TFS or bank bill pay?
7. Does the debtor have homeowners insurance and car insurance? Is it disclosed on Schedule J, form 106J? Have Secured Creditors been notified of the applicable insurance?
8. Has the debtor been advised of the obligation to attend Debtor Orientation?
9. If the estate is solvent, is the box in Paragraph 7 of the Plan checked and does the Plan provide for interest to general unsecured creditors?
10. If principal source of the Debtor(s)' income is derived from own business or self-employment, do tax returns support feasibility of the plan?
11. If this is a business case, have the following documents been provided to the Trustee no later than seven (7) days prior to the Meeting of Creditors?
  • At least two years of tax returns
  • Twelve (12) months of all business bank statements (with business expenses identified)
  • Twelve (12) months of all personal banking statements
  • List of Business Assets and Liabilities
  • Statement of gross business income, along with ordinary and reasonable business expenses, and net business income.
  • Twelve (12) month Profit and Lost statement
12. If Debtor is self-employed, or has rental income, has a statement showing gross income along with ordinary and necessary business expenses, and the net monthly income for each business and each rental property been attached to Schedule I as required by Line 8(a)?
13. Have Wage Order(s) been prepared and uploaded?
14. Have copies of all pay advices received within sixty (60) days prior to filing been sent to the Trustee no later than seven (7) days prior to the first date set for the Meeting of Creditors?
15. Has the most recently filed tax return or tax transcript been sent to the Trustee no later than seven (7) days before the date first set for the Meeting of Creditors?

Section II - Schedules


Yes No
16. Are all questions in Statement of Financial Affairs (SOFA), form 107, answered completely, including: foreclosures on #10; transfers of real estate on #18; and, all business interests or self-employment for four (4) years preceding the filing on #27?
17. Are all creditors mentioned in SOFA, form 107, also listed on Schedules D, form 106D, or E/F, form 106E/F, if any debt is still owed?
18. Do Attorney Fees disclosed in Statement of Financial Affairs, form 107, #16 match the Attorney Compensation Statement and Paragraph 5.1.7 in Plan?
19. Has form LBR 2016-1(b), Attorney Compensation Statement, been filed? If attorney has substituted into the case, has a new 2016-1(b) form been filed?
20. Does the Summary of Your Assets and Liabilities and Certain Statistical Information include all information?
21. Is Schedule A/B, form 106 A/B, complete? If life insurance has cash value, have beneficiaries been disclosed?
22. Are timeshare interests disclosed on Schedule A/B, form 106A/B?
23. Have all appropriate exemptions been claimed on Schedule C, form 106C? If Debtor(s) has not lived in Ohio for the past two years, have the correct state or federal exemptions been claimed?
24. If Schedule C was amended, have all creditors, parties in interest, the UST and the Trustee been served as required by LBR 1009-1(c)?
25. Do the values in Schedule D, form 106D, correspond with the values of personal or real property in Schedule A/B, form 106 A/B, and the values listed in the Plan?
26. Are all secured, priority, and unsecured creditors properly and completely scheduled?
27. Are co-signed debts disclosed as such, including the names and addresses of all co-signers, on Schedule H, form 106H, and included in the matrix?
28. Is employer's full address disclosed on Schedule I, form 106I?
29. Do number of Debtors and dependents on Schedule J, form 106J, match Debtor's household size disclosed in Official Form 122C-1 line 16b?
30. Are all line items for expenses in Schedule J, form 106J, totaled correctly as to simple math? Is all disposable income on line 23c committed to the Plan payment?
31. Do the expenses on Schedule J, form 106J, fall within the Safe Harbor amounts as set forth on the Trustee's website?
32. Does Form 1015-2 contain all required information?

Section III - Plan


Yes No
33. Do Plan payments cover all per month payments, attorney fees, and Trustee's fee?
34. Does Plan provide pre-confirmation adequate protection payments for lease payments and claims secured by purchase money security interest in personal property?
35. Does the plan provide treatment for all mortgages?
36. Does Plan provide treatment for all secured debts on Schedule D, form 106D?
37. Have all on-going domestic support obligations been disclosed in paragraph 5.1.5 and all DSO arrearages in paragraph 5.2.2 of the Plan?
38. Does Plan provide that all car loans and leases are paid through the Plan? (LBR 3015-1(c)(2).) Are terms and length of auto lease disclosed on Schedule G, form 106G and in Paragraph 5.1.6 of the Plan?
39. Does Plan provide for all lease arrears to be brought current by the termination date of the lease?
40. If a co-signed debt is to be paid by a non-filing co-signer, is treatment provided in Paragraph 5.5. of the Plan? If a co-signed debt is to be paid through the Trustee, does the Plan include a Nonstandard Provision providing specific treatment, including an interest rate and monthly payment amount?
41. Does Plan provide for market rate ("Till") of interest for secured creditors in Plan paragraph 7?
42. Has insurance information been provided in Paragraph 10.1 of the Plan?
43. Has Sale of Property, if necessary, been disclosed in Paragraph 13 Nonstandard Provisions of the Plan?
44. Are Nonstandard Provisions limited to information not prohibited by General Order No. 7?
45. Are all appropriate checkboxes in the Notices Section on Page 1 and other Sections/Paragraphs of the Plan marked?
46. Does Plan propose for Debtor to pay all disposable income into the Plan for the applicable commitment period?
47. If Debtor is above-median income, does Plan include the ACP language as approved by Trustee Pees (see pages 18 and 19 below)?
48. Has the Plan been signed and dated by Debtor(s) and Debtor(s)' counsel?

Section IV - Service of the Plan


Yes No
49. Has the Debtor served the Chapter 13 Plan on the Trustee and all creditors and parties in interest as required by LBR 3015-1(b)?
50. If the Plan proposes to seek relief under Paragraphs 5.1.2, 5.1.4, 5.4.1, 5.4.2, and/or 5.4.3, and said relief is sought through the Plan, has the Plan been served upon the affected creditor pursuant to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7004?
51. Does the certificate of service attached to the Plan state the method of service for any creditor served pursuant to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7004?

Section V - Plan Amendments


Yes No
52. Are any changes (additions or deletions) from a previously filed Plan or Amended Plan highlighted or clearly reflected in bold, italics, or strike-through?
53. Are amendments filed at least ten days prior to the confirmation date or the continued confirmation date?
54. Do increased Plan payments create a payment deficiency? (Amended plan payments are retroactive to the first payment unless step payments are proposed.)


Notes from the Pre-Confirmation Department

Consuelo V. Gerhardt, Supervisor
Tessa Bayless, Team Leader/Plan Analyst
Danielle Wellman, Plan Analyst
Matt Allen, Plan Analyst
Amanda Kelb, Plan Analyst
Stacie Rhoades, Scheduling and Case Setup
Marla Schmidt, Scheduling and Case Setup
Christina Sally, Scheduling and Case Setup

Requesting a Rescheduled Meeting of Creditors

  1. In order to request a rescheduled meeting of creditors, please send an email to resets341@ch13.org. Be sure to state the reason the original meeting was not held.
  2. As soon as the Debtor(s)' first plan payment has been posted on our system, we will process your request. For payment information, please access 13 Network by clicking the link on our home page at www.ch13.org.
  3. If there are any known, scheduled commitments that might interfere with a possible Meeting of Creditors reset date (e.g. vacation, trial date) please state the problematic dates in your request. We will do our best to accommodate your situation.
  4. The Trustee will only grant one continuance absent an order from the Court. Any additional continuances must be requested through a Motion to Reset 341 Meeting.

Filing the Chapter 13 Plan

  1. Fed. R of Bankr. P 3015(b) requires the Plan to be filed within fourteen (14) days of the petition filing date unless the Court directs otherwise.
  2. If a case is converted to Chapter 13, the Plan is to be filed within fourteen (14) days of the order of conversion date unless the Court directs otherwise.
  3. If Plan is not filed within fourteen (14) days or an extension is not granted by the Court, our office will file a Motion to Dismiss.
  4. LBR 3015-1(b) requires that the Debtor serve the Chapter 13 Plan on the Trustee and all creditors and parties in interest.
  5. If the Plan proposes to seek relief under Paragraphs 5.1.2, 5.1.4, 5.4.1, 5.4.2 and/or 5.4.3, and said relief is sought through the Plan, the Plan must be served upon the affected creditor pursuant to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7004.

Motion to Waive Wage Withholding Orders

  1. Unless otherwise ordered by the Court or agreed to by the Trustee, Chapter 13 Plans must be funded by payroll deduction. See LBR 3015-1(f).
  2. Unless otherwise agreed to by the Trustee, a motion must be filed in order to waive wage withholding. Factors considered are: employer is small business with internal payroll; Debtor(s)' employment includes responsibility for payroll, finance, or budgets; and whether a prior case was dismissed for lack of payment.
  3. Motions for Direct Pay are not necessary if Debtor(s) are self-employed or if Debtor(s) Plan is substantially funded by any type of fixed income. The Trustee will allow the wage order to be delayed when Debtor(s) has a new job and is under a probationary period of employment.
  4. Debtors who are permitted to make direct payments to the Trustee are encouraged to pay electronically through TFS or bill pay through the Debtor(s)' financial institution.

Debtor(s)' Change of Address

  1. Fed. R. Bankr. P. 4002 provides that Debtor(s) must file a Notice of Change of Address with the clerk. Please file notices as soon as possible to ensure that Debtor(s) receive all documents and notices filed in the case.
  2. If Debtor(s) contact our office about a new address, they are told to contact their attorneys about filing the proper notice with the Court.
  3. The no-look fee of $3,700.00 includes filing of address changes.

Form for Debtors with Support Obligations

  1. In all cases which include a domestic support obligation, the Trustee is required to provide written notices to the holder of the claim and to the state child support enforcement agency of such claim. The Trustee's Office provides a form which is to be completed at the Meeting of Creditors and turned in to the hearing officer. A copy of the completed form will be e-mailed to Debtor(s)' counsel.
  2. Through the Domestic Support Obligation form, Debtor will be required to verify or provide the full name and current address of each adult person to whom support of any kind is due.
  3. It is most helpful if all relevant information is known at the time of the Meeting of Creditors.

Practice Notes - Schedules and Plans

  • The Trustee's administrative fee is 6% as of October 1st, 2018.
  • Appraisals are required for all real estate disclosed on Schedule A/B. Appraisals can be an auditor's valuation unless the property is subject to lien avoidance, cramdown, or bifurcation. [LBR 3015-3(e)(3)] An auditor's valuation is also acceptable when there is no dispute that an estate is solvent.
  • Please note that Form 2016-1(b) is required by LBR 2016-1(b) for disclosure and application of attorney fees.
  • The attorney "no-look" fee is currently $3,700.00. A detailed list of duties as to services included in the "no-look" fee is set forth in LBR 2016-1(b)(2)(A).
  • All creditors added by amendment, either pre-confirmation or post-confirmation, must be served with a copy of the 341 notice and the most recent Plan. See LBR 1009-1(a)(2). The Plan must be accompanied by a 21-day notice Fed. R. Bankr. P. 2002(a).
  • Mortgage creditors must file with the clerk a Notice of Mortgage Payment Change no later than 21 days before any change in the regular monthly payment amount. Fed R. Bankr. P. 3002.1(b).
  • A pre-petition personal injury (PI) claim is property of the estate. The claim should be disclosed on Schedule A/B, form 106A/B, even if the value of the claim is still undetermined. If the Debtor wants to retain separate PI counsel to handle the claim, the Debtor, not the Trustee, shall file an application to employ special counsel with the Court. Before any settlement can be finalized, the Debtor must file a motion to approve compromise under Bankr. Rule 9019. At the time of the settlement, the non-exempt value of the claim is determined. If there is any non-exempt value, the Plan may have to be modified to meet the "best interest of creditors" test of §1325(b)(4). For PI claims that arise post-confirmation, the claims should be disclosed to the Court and the Trustee, and the special counsel and settlement procedures are the same as above.
  • Personal property secured by valid consensual or judicial liens shall be valued at the secured value specified in the Plan.
  • If the Plan proposes to seek relief under Paragraphs 5.1.2, 5.1.4, 5.4.1, 5.4.2, and/or 5.4.3, and said relief is sought through the Plan, the Plan must be served upon the affected creditor pursuant to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7004.
  • All vehicles, whether lease or loan, are to be paid through the Plan regardless of whether they are long-term debts.
  • Nonstandard Provisions Paragraph of the Plan is restricted to those items applicable to the particular circumstances of the Debtor(s) and should not contain a restatement of provisions in the Code or Bankruptcy Rules.
  • Pre-Confirmation Plan amendments, including monthly payment amounts, are effective as of the date of filing. If an amended Plan is filed increasing the monthly payment, the change will be effective beginning in month one unless step payments are proposed. This may result in a payment deficiency.
  • Pursuant to General Order No. 7, all pre-confirmation Plan amendments must be made by filing a complete Amended District Wide Mandatory Form Plan with the changes highlighted or reflected in bold, italics, or strike-through.
  • The District Wide Mandatory Form Plan requires Debtor(s) to fully and timely disclose any financial recovery which Debtor(s) becomes entitled to for any reason, including without limitation, employment claims, workers' compensation claims, unemployment claims, inheritance, life insurance benefits, lottery proceeds, or property settlements.
  • If an Amended Plan adversely affects any creditors, it must be accompanied by a 21-day notice to the Trustee and the affected creditors.
  • If the Debtor files schedules after the petition date that include creditors not on the original list of creditors, or if creditors are added by a separate amendment, the Debtor must serve a copy of the 341 Notice and a copy of the most recent Plan on any creditor added by the amendment. (LBR 1009-1(a)(1)(2)). The Plan must be accompanied by a twenty-one (21) day notice. Fed. Bank. Rule 2002 (a).
  • If Schedule C is amended, all creditors and parties in interest must be served with the amended Schedule (LBR 1009-1(c)).

Practice Notes - Attorney Fees

  • Attorney fees are paid pursuant to Paragraph 5.1.7 of the Plan. Pre-confirmation fees above the no-look fee of $3,700.00 specified in LBR 2016-1(b)(2) must be approved by application to the Court. Any applications for pre-confirmation attorney fees must be filed within sixty (60) days of the date of confirmation. LBR 2016-1(b)(2)(C).
  • Post-confirmation attorney fees must be requested by separate application filed no later than 6 months after completion of the services for which compensation is sought.
  • An attorney's inability to continue to represent the Debtor may affect any undistributed portion of the no-look fee (see LBR 2016-1(b)(6)).
  • For cases dismissed prior to confirmation, applications for attorney fees or other administrative expense claims must be filed within fourteen days of the dismissal order. The Trustee will object to applications filed after this date.

Practice Notes - Length of Plan

  • If confirmation extends beyond the bar date, the case will be rerun for length based on claims as filed.
  • The Trustee reviews secured proofs of claim filed prior to confirmation. If a mortgage arrearage claim is significantly higher than scheduled, the projected length may exceed the limit of §1322(d)(2).
  • The Plan may also fail to meet the applicable commitment period. Pursuant to the Baud decision, Above Median Income Debtors are required to propose a 60-month Plan. In order to address the concerns of the bar in formulating a dividend Plan projecting to exactly 60 months, the following language will be accepted in the Nonstandard Provision Paragraph of the Plan:
    Debtors shall make Plan payments in the amount set forth in this Plan for no less than the applicable commitment period, but not to exceed 60 months. The dividend to be paid to unsecured creditors shall be no less than the dividend set forth in paragraph 2.2 of the Plan.
  • The inclusion of the above language does not make the Plan a "pot" Plan.
  • Even with the inclusion of the above language, the Trustee will require the Plan of an above-median income debtor to project to 36 months.

Practice Notes - 341s

  • Pre-341 Recommendations will be e-mailed to you approximately ten (10) to fourteen (14) days prior to the 341 Meeting of Creditors.
  • If you have questions about the pre-341 recommendations, please email the case analyst. The case analyst's name and email address are located on the bottom of the recommendation. Issues expressed in the recommendation may be able to be resolved prior to the Meeting of Creditors.
  • Tax returns and pay advices are to be sent to the Trustee at least seven (7) days before the 341 Meeting. To facilitate secure and encrypted document transmittal to the Chapter 13 Trustee of all documents not filed with the Court, please transmit all pay stubs and tax returns via the website at https://secure.ch13.org/upload.
  • The hearing officer at the 341 Meeting of Creditors will ask Debtor(s)' to verify their signatures on the petition so please bring the original "blue-ink" copy to the 341 Meeting.
  • Effective October 2011, the Interpreter Service required for use by the UST is called Certified Languages International. The company does not need to have their services pre-arranged and there is a customer code that will need to be provided. The Trustee and the UST must be advised prior to the scheduled 341 Meeting date so telephonic equipment can be provided.
  • Trustee will only accept original documents for proof of Social Security numbers at the 341 Meeting of Creditors. Original documents other than Social Security card are: Medicare card, pay stub, W-2 form, IRS form 1099, and Social Security administration form.

Practice Notes - Confirmation Hearings

  • The continuation of confirmation hearings is Judge specific. Email your case analyst for further information.
  • If you have not already done so, please create a user account, including an email address, on the docketing website at dockets.ch13.org. The mailing list used by the Trustee for mass email messages includes only those who have created a user account.
  • Legend for the docketing website
    1. 0 and/or H = To be heard by the Judge. Parties must appear at pre-hearing conference.
    2. 1 and/or RD = Confirmed prior to the confirmation hearing date. No one need appear.
    3. 2 = Dismissed, converted, or continued prior to confirmation hearing. No one need appear.
    4. 3 and/or C = Confirmed by Consent. No one need appear.
    5. 4 = Will be confirmed by consent if pending creditor objection is resolved. Parties must appear at pre-hearing conference unless you contact your case analyst advising that a resolution is forthcoming.
    6. 6 = Trustee requests dismissal of the case. Counsel must appear at pre-hearing conference.
    7. 7 = To be continued if objecting creditor agrees. Parties must appear at pre-hearing conference.
    8. 8 = To be continued. Counsel must appear at pre-hearing conference.
  • Judge Preston allows both creditor and debtor attorneys to appear via Court Call for all matters on the confirmation docket. For detailed information regarding these procedures, please go to https://www.ch13.org/confirmationprocedures.php

Top 10 Reasons Your Plan Is Not On Consent or Rocket Docket

  1. The Trustee's office does not have pay advices received in the sixty consecutive days prior to filing and most recent tax return. Pay advices and tax returns can be uploaded at https://secure.ch13.org/upload/.
  2. If a business case, the Trustee's office has not received all requested business documents.
  3. All boxes on the District Wide Mandatory Form Plan have not been checked or completed.
  4. If Debtor is self-employed, or if Debtor has rental income, a statement showing gross income along with ordinary and necessary business expenses and the net monthly income has not been attached to Schedule I as required by Line 8(a).
  5. Amendments or Amended Plans were filed too late. Pursuant to LBR 3015-2(a), Amended Plans or amendments must be filed and requested information must be provided at least ten days prior to the confirmation hearing.
  6. Monthly plan payment is not sufficient to cover the conduit mortgage payment(s), all "per month" payments to secured creditors, attorney fees, plus the Trustee's administrative fee.
  7. The Plan was not served pursuant to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7004, when required.
  8. No appraisal.
  9. Length.
  10. Payment arrearages. If an Amended Plan is filed increasing the monthly payment, the change will be effective beginning in month one unless step payments are proposed.

  • Please note: Debtor is responsible for making all payments to the Chapter 13 Trustee until the wage order has taken effect. (NOTE: The Trustee recommends that debtors retain all pay stubs as evidence that payments are being taken from their wages).



Notes from the Post-Confirmation Case Administration Department

Shelley Haydock, Supervisor
Lucy Thomas, Case Administrator
Jill Frey, Case Admininistrator

Change In Regular Monthly Payments to Mortgage Creditor

Please note that pursuant to Fed R. Bankr. P. 3002.1(b), if there is any change in the regular monthly mortgage payment, the mortgage creditor shall file with the Court a Notice of Mortgage Payment Change (Official Form B 10 (Supplement 1) and serve the Debtor(s), Debtor(s)' attorney and the Chapter 13 Trustee. Pursuant to Fed. R. Bankr. P. Rule 3002.1, payment changes must be filed at least twenty-one (21) days before the new payment is due.

Requesting a Payoff Amount

For your convenience, case payout information may be obtained anytime on the Trustees' website at www.ch13.org. Click on 13Network and follow the prompts. Please be advised that the payoff amount on the Trustee's website does not include any continuing per month payments to secured creditors. Any formal requests for payoffs must be submitted to the Trustee's office in writing. Please allow three to five business days for a response. To expedite the process, please indicate in your request the source of the funds to be used to pay off the Plan.

Insurance Proceeds

If the Trustee receives auto insurance proceeds and the proceeds are to go directly to the secured creditor, the insurance company must obtain a guarantee of title directly from the creditor, not the Trustee. If the Debtor(s) wish to retain all or part of the insurance proceeds or substitute collateral, a motion must be filed with the Court.

Motions to Approve Trial Payments and Motions to Approve Loan Modification

For your convenience, a fillable Motion to Approve Trial Payments for Loan Modification and Motion to Approve Loan Modification can be found on the Trustee's website on our forms page. The forms require Adobe Acrobat Reader version 9.1 or later. The Court generally requires a copy of the loan modification agreement to be filed with the Motion.

Using 13 Network to Access Case Information

The Trustee's Website at http://www.ch13.org gives users access at any time. Just click "Access Your Case Online" under the Debtor menu or the 13 Network block on the home page or click here for a direct link. The 13 Network website is easy to use and provides case information 24 hours a day, seven days a week regarding debtor(s)' plan payments, Trustee disbursements, and approximate case pay out information.

For your convenience, the website also offers important contact information, financial seminar dates, and printable forms such as Proof of Claims, Wage Orders, Stipulations, Mandatory Form Plan, and Debtor Certification.

Once on the 13 Network website:
Your username is your case number and your password is the last four digits of your Social Security number. Click "Submit".

The first page is the "Profile" page. This page gives you general information about your case, such as attorney of record, date case was filed, hearing dates, the percentage to unsecured creditors, etc.

The second page is the "Parties" page. This page lists all names and addresses associated with the case including Debtor(s), attorney, employers, and creditors.

The third page is the "Pay Schedules" page. This page shows the plan payment schedule during the life of your case and how the payments are being made (employer deduction, direct, etc.)

The fourth page is the "Payees" page. This page lists all the creditors to be paid through your Plan including the claim amounts, total paid to date, and balance due to each creditor.

The fifth page is the "Financials" page. Under the Financial Summary you will see six options. If you would like to view the payments the Trustee has received from you, click "Receipts." To view the disbursements to your creditors, click "Disbursements." You may choose to view payments to all creditors, or you may click on the drop down arrow next to "Select Payee Name" and choose from a list of specific creditors in order to see only one creditor's disbursement history. You can click the print option at any time (to the right of the screen.)

If you would like to know the approximate payoff calculation of the plan, go to the "Profile" page. On the right of the page you will see, in green, "Case Options: Case Payout." Click "Go." Here you will see an approximate payoff calculation, approximate months remaining in the Plan, dividend to unsecured creditors, and total amount you have paid to the Plan. Keep in mind that applicable commitment period must be met; the web payoff calculation amount is only a projected amount based on claims as filed.

For further assistance with the website, please use the support page.

Motions to Dismiss

When the Trustee's office files a motion to dismiss a case (MTD) due to lack of payment, if the Debtor(s) make a full Plan payment after the MTD is filed, the Trustee may enter into an agreed order which holds the motion in abeyance to give Debtor(s) an opportunity to perform under the Plan. The agreed order has a 30 day payment default provision which permits the case to be dismissed upon the filing of an Affidavit of Default and the submission of an Order of Dismissal.

If the MTD is due to length only or lack of payment and length, the agreed order will also allow 60 days to cure the length problem. The Trustee will upload a standard agreed order upon agreement with Debtor(s)' attorney.

Please keep in mind that a response to the Trustee's Motion to Dismiss must be filed if you do not want the case dismissed even if you have been in contact with one of our staff attorneys. The filing of a Motion to Modify does not act as a response.

Wage Orders

Initial wage orders are to be filed by Debtors' counsel prior to the confirmation of the Plan. The Trustee will file post-confirmation wage orders resulting from a step pay in the plan or a modification of the plan unless notified otherwise.



Miscellaneous Matters: Motions to Modify, Applications and Notice of Intention to Pay Claims

Don Mains, Esq., Supervisor
Stacie Rhoades, Notice of Intention to Pay Claims, Internal Auditor
Susan Cockerill, Motions to Modify, Applications
Meg Murphy, 24 Month Internal Auditor

Post-Confirmation Plan Modifications

A plan modification proposed after confirmation must be made by motion and must be filed and served on the Trustee, the US Trustee, and all affected parties and must include the twenty-one (21) day notice referenced in LBR 9013-1(a). Motions to Modify the Plan which change the amount of the plan payment must include Amended Schedules I & J.

Modifications of plan after confirmation must meet the requirements of §1329. Modification of plan payments going forward does not cure past arrearages although it may cure length problems.

See General Order Nos. 12 and 12-1 for a list of motions/applications that do not require the twenty-one day notice.

Modification for Temporary Suspension or Reduction of Payments

Any request for temporary reduction of payments to a confirmed plan shall be initiated by motion. The motion shall state the reason for the reduction and the period of time requested. It is not necessary to file amended Schedules I and J. Absent exigent circumstances, the Trustee will not approve total suspension of payments.

Requests to Sell Personal Property

Any request to sell personal property should be submitted to the Trustee in the form of an application. Subject to Fed. R.Bankr. P. 6004(d), the application must contain notice as in LBR 6004-1(b)(1) and must be served according to Fed. R.Bankr. P. 2002(a)(2) and LBR 9013-3. The application is not filed with the clerk. If there are no objections and the Trustee approves the application, the Trustee will file the approval and application with the Court. If there are objections to the sale or the Trustee does not approve the application, debtor(s) may file a motion with the Court. The motion shall contain a copy of the Trustee's denial letter.

If the aggregate value of the property to be sold is less than $1,000.00 and the property is unencumbered, it is not necessary for the debtor(s) to make an application to the Trustee.

If the application is to sell property which has a lien, the application will be denied and a motion to sell free and clear of liens must be filed and served on the affected creditor with a twenty-one (21) day notice.

Requests to Sell Real Property

Any request to sell real property must be filed as a motion with the Court and must provide the information as set out in LBR 6004-1(d).

Obtaining Credit

Debtor(s) may not incur any non-emergency consumer debt in excess of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), including refinancing of mortgage debt, without written approval of the Trustee or a Court order. Debtor(s) should first request approval to incur debt by submitting a written application containing the information stated in LBR 4001-3(c). A fillable Application to Incur Debt form can be found on the Trustee's website at https://www.ch13.org/forms.php. The application is not filed with the Court. If the application is approved by the Trustee, the Trustee will then file the application and the approval.

If the Debtor(s)' application is not approved by the Trustee, the debtor may file a motion to incur the debt. The motion shall contain a copy of the Trustee's denial letter as required by LBR 4001-3(b)(2).

Notice of Intention to Pay Claims

The Notice of Intention to Pay Claims is sent approximately six to eight months after the case is confirmed. This document lists all creditors and discloses whether or not a claim has been filed. It has a twenty-one (21) day notice from the date of service by the Trustee, during which objections to Proofs of Claims can be filed. With exception, if there are no objections, the case becomes final and binding, paying only those creditors who have filed claims.

The $3,700.00 no-look fee includes review of the Notice of Intention to Pay Claims.

Hardship Discharge

  • After confirmation of a Plan, circumstances may arise that prevent the Debtor(s) from completing the Plan. In such situations, the Debtor(s) may ask the Court to grant a "hardship discharge." 11 U.S.C. § 1328(b).
  • A hardship discharge is available only if:
    1. The Debtor's failure to complete Plan payments is due to circumstances beyond the Debtor's control and through no fault of the Debtor.
    2. Creditors have received at least as much as they would have received in a Chapter 7 liquidation case.
    3. Modification of the Plan is not possible.
  • Injury or illness that precludes employment sufficient to fund even a modified plan may serve as the basis for a hardship discharge.
  • The hardship discharge does not apply to any debts that are non-dischargeable in a Chapter 7 case. 11 U.S.C. § 523.
  • A Motion for a Hardship Discharge affects all creditors and therefore must be served upon all parties with a 21-day notice.



Notes from the Closing Department

Shelley Haydock, Supervisor
Betsy Weber, Closing Auditor

Closing Procedure Notes

In order for Debtors to receive their Discharge, it is necessary for the Financial Management Certificate to be filed with the clerk. This can be filed at any time prior to the "Eligible for Discharge" date, however, we recommend filing the certificate as soon as it is available. If the Financial Management course is completed at the Trustee's Office, the certificate will be filed by our office, effective January 1, 2014.

In addition, filing of the Debtor(s)' Certification Regarding Issuance of Discharge Order is mandatory regardless of whether or not the Debtor(s) has a DSO. This form can be found on the Trustee's website at https://www.ch13.org/forms.php. Please remember that this form needs to be filed after the Trustee's Certification of Final Payment and Case History and after the financial management course has been completed, but before the "Eligible for Discharge" date.

Cases Dismissed Prior to Confirmation

The Court Order dismissing cases prior to confirmation provides that the Court will retain jurisdiction for administrative matters such as the allowance of administrative expenses, including attorney and appraisal fees. Applications for the allowance of administrative priority expenses must be filed within fourteen (14) days of the entry of the dismissal order. The Trustee's Office will object to applications filed after this deadline.

Completed Cases with a Mortgage Conduit

Trustee Pees will file a Notice of Final Cure pursuant to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 3002.1(f) and a Motion to Deem Mortgage Current in those cases in which the Trustee disbursed post-petition conduit payments. This includes cases in which the conduit payment was paid from the beginning of the Plan and those cases in which the conduit payment was introduced into the Trustee distributions following confirmation (e.g. following the filing of a Motion for Relief by the mortgagee).

The Trustee will not file a Notice of Final Cure or a Motion to Deem Mortgage Current for any case in which:

  1. Debtors were to make all monthly mortgage payments directly
  2. Debtors surrendered the subject real estate
  3. Relief was granted
  4. Debtor took over mortgage payments prior to the end of a Plan (VERY RARE)
  5. The mortgage lien was paid in full through the terms of the Plan, crammed down under §506, avoided, or paid as unsecured


Notes from the Accounting Department

Leonard Weatherby, Supervisor
Pam Harper
Marla Schmidt

Payment Lockbox for Trustee Frank M. Pees (ONLY)

  1. Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, or agreed to by the Trustee, all Chapter 13 Plans are to be funded through payroll deduction. Debtors are responsible for making all payments to the Trustee until the wage order becomes effective.
  2. NO PAYMENTS ARE ACCEPTED BY HAND DELIVERY in our office or at the bank. All payments for Frank M. Pees (ONLY) must be mailed to this address:
    • Frank M. Pees, Chapter 13
      Dept. 781158
      P.O. Box 78000
      Detroit, MI 48278-1158
  3. Overnight Payment Address:
    • J.P. Morgan Chase
      Attn: Frank M. Pees, Chapter 13 Trustee-Dept. 781158
      9000 Haggerty Road
      Belleville, MI 48111
  4. Checks must be made payable to "Frank M Pees, Chapter 13 Trustee". Case numbers must be on all forms of payment and correspondence.
  5. All correspondence for Frank M. Pees, Trustee, should be mailed to:
    • Frank M. Pees, Trustee
      130 E. Wilson Bridge Road, Suite 200
      Worthington, OH 43085
    • If you enclose a reset request along with any correspondence,
      please email a copy to: resets341@ch13.org.
  6. Direct pay Debtors may use TFS to make automated payments. Fees are charged by TFS based on amount of Plan payment.
  7. Direct pay Debtors may also make payments through the bill pay service of Debtor(s)' financial institution.

NOTE: The accounting/receipts department is only responsible for the posting of payment and mailing of checks. Any questions related to wage orders, the calculation of mortgage payment amounts, length of time until discharge is granted, etc... must be directed to the case administrator.

In Review

Please remind your clients of the following items:

  1. Checks must be made payable to "Frank M Pees, Chapter 13 Trustee."
  2. All payments must be mailed to the lockbox.
  3. All payments must include the case number. Please include all seven digits of the case number.
  4. Please include Debtor(s)' name on all payments. Please make sure Debtor(s)' full name is legible.
  5. Payments for direct pay cases can be made through TFS. Please note that it can take up to 11 business days to set up an account. Once the account is established, it will take 5 business days for a payment to post to your account. Please take this delay into account when scheduling payments to be made on the due date.
  6. Payments for direct pay cases can be made through Debtor(s)' financial institutions bill pay system.
  7. All correspondence other than payments must be mailed to the Trustee's office.
  8. Debtors are responsible for making all payments to the Trustee until the wage order becomes effective.



Notes from the Education Department

Consuelo Gerhardt, Debtor Orientation
Kathleen Mills, Debtor Education

Debtor Orientation Program

The Orientation Program is held every Monday night at the Trustee's Office in Suite 100 from 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm. Trustee Pees' debtors are strongly encouraged to attend on the first, third, or fifth Mondays of the month and Trustee English's debtors are strongly encouraged to attend on the second or fourth Mondays of the month. If the office is closed on Monday (federal holidays), debtor orientation is held on the next day, Tuesday, at the same time. The program continues to be popular with Debtor(s). There is no need for the Debtor(s) to register for the program but it is important for them to sign-in upon arrival.

A morning orientation program is held on the first Monday of each month at 10:00 a.m. for Debtor(s) who are unable to attend in the evening. If the office is closed on the Monday due to a federal holiday, the morning orientation is held the following Monday morning at 10:00 a.m.

Debtor(s) are given an orientation handbook which contains information about their Trustee's office, a glossary of bankruptcy terms, and phone extensions to reach post-confirmation case administrators. The handbook includes a pre-addressed payment envelope and a change of address card.

The program covers information about what they can expect at the Meeting of Creditors with a sample of the questions they will be asked. Debtor(s) are reminded to bring picture ID's and an original document showing proof of Social Security numbers.

The program also informs the Debtor(s) of the free consumer education classes available to them during their Plan or upon completion. The free classes include the financial management class required for discharge as well as three voluntary classes; Smart Spending, Identity Theft & Credit Reports, and Re-establishing Credit.

All Debtor(s) are asked to complete and turn in an evaluation form at the end of the orientation program. The evaluations are overwhelmingly positive.

The Trustee's Office will provide deaf interpreters as needed but must be requested in advance. Please inform us as soon as the case is filed or the Meeting of Creditors is set to allow sufficient time to schedule the interpreters. The sound system in the education room has four personal receivers which can be used by hard-of-hearing Debtor(s).

Debtor(s) are expected to attend orientation in every case they file. Both Debtors in a joint case are expected to attend, but if it is impossible for them to do so, credit will be given if only one of the Debtors attend.

Debtor Education Classes

The Chapter 13 Trustee's Office offers the mandatory financial management course to all Chapter 13 participants at no charge regardless of the Trustee assignment. The course must be completed by each debtor before the last plan payment is made unless they meet the limited exceptions in §109(h)(4). The course is currently offered in Worthington at the Trustee's Office, in Zanesville at the Knights of Columbus Hall, and in St. Clairsville in the Community Room of the Ohio Valley Mall. Debtor(s) are required to bring a picture ID to the class. Debtor(s) are encouraged to register, but registration is not mandatory. Copies of the Debtor Education certificate are mailed or emailed to all Debtors. Debtors can register online and view the class schedules at: https://www.ch13.org/financialmanagement.php

The course materials include a TEN workbook (Trustee's Education Network, an NACTT organization) supplemented with pamphlets, leaflets, and brochures from the Trustee's Office and guest speakers. The course covers the required topics mandated by the DOJ, and the Debtor(s) actively participate in the class by completing several worksheets on goal-setting and budgeting. The course has been well-attended and well-received since its inception

In Worthington, the course is held three times each month; one Thursday evening, one Saturday morning, and one Tuesday morning.

In Zanesville, the Financial Management course is held at the Knights of Columbus Hall on the same day as the 341 Meetings. Registration in Zanesville begins at 1:15 p.m. and the course is from 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

In St. Clairsville, the Financial Management course is held in the Community Room of the Ohio Valley Mall every month on the same day as the 341 Meetings. Registration in St. Clairsville begins at 1:15 p.m. and the course is from 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

The format of the course is somewhat different in Zanesville and St. Clairsville as basic orientation information is covered as well as the required financial topics. Several attorneys require their clients to attend the orientation portion of the class even if they have already completed the financial management class online.

If the Debtor(s) intend to convert their case to Chapter 7 and want to complete the free course through the Trustee's office, they must attend before their case is converted. Once the case has been converted to Chapter 7, they are no longer able to take the class through our office.

Trustee Pees also offers an online personal Financial Management course for those unable to attend the in-person class. The course contains the same quality information taught at our in-person classes. It is free to all Chapter 13 Debtors and can be accessed at www.13class.com; however, please note that the on-line registration code is Trustee specific.

This is the information necessary for registering for Trustee Pees' cases:

  1. The website is www.13class.com
  2. Trustee Identifier Number for Mr. Pees is 007 and should be entered after TEN13 which is already printed in the box
  3. Name as it appears exactly on the bankruptcy petition
  4. Case number
  5. Email address
  6. Last four of the Social Security number. (This number is used for identity verification so it must be typed in again sometime during the course.)
  7. Must choose "Yes" for certificate needed (TEN will file the certificate with the Court.)
  8. Must create a Username and Password. (Write this down as you will need it to log-in.)
  9. Must accept Terms and Conditions.
  10. Attorney last name and email address can be provided. You may want to have your bankruptcy paperwork nearby as the course refers to some of the Schedules. (optional)
  11. After registering, a message containing a link will be sent to the email address provided. The link must be clicked which confirms the registration.

There are video tutorials including one for registration which may be helpful. Please complete an evaluation at the end of the program.

There are three other voluntary classes offered only in Worthington; Smart Spending, Identity Theft & Credit Reports, and Re-establishing Credit. These classes are offered several times during the year. Debtors are eligible to attend as soon as their cases are filed. Debtors can register online and view the voluntary class schedules on the Trustee's website at https://www.ch13.org/otherseminars.php.

Chapter 13 Library Website

The Trustee is pleased to provide a new tool for Debtors as they deal with life issues while in their Chapter 13 plans. As President of the Trustees' Education Network, our Trustee was awarded a grant which resulted in the creation of the new library website. The website has helpful information about community resources for help with housing, food, and utilities; information about student loans and resume writing; links to job sites; free/cheap resources and entertainment for Debtors and their families, etc. The information on the website is available in English and Spanish. The possibilities are limitless and we are happy to have your suggestions for content and links to add to the library. Send an email to chapter13library@ch13.org to apply for a password.

The library website can be accessed at http://chapter13library.com/



Points of Contact


Phone Extensions

Our office directory can be found here which includes extensions and emails for most of our staff.

Email Addresses

To reach any staff member at the Trustee's Office:
(insert first name)@ch13.org
Note: David Powell: david@ch13.org; Dave Marteney: davem@ch13.org

To create an account for 13network:
https://www.ch13.org/webaccessagreement.php

To email agreed orders and stipulations:
ordersandstipulations@ch13.org

To request a rescheduled Meeting of Creditors:
resets341@ch13.org

Fax Numbers

(614) 436-0190

Websites

For confirmation dockets:
http://dockets.ch13.org

For the most up to date information including checking payments, accessing forms, etc.
https://www.ch13.org

To upload pay advices and tax returns
https://secure.ch13.org/upload/

Trustee Position Statements
https://www.ch13.org/positions.php



Index


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