Cite as: Keith M. Lundin, Lundin On Chapter 13, § 72.3, at ¶ ____, LundinOnChapter13.com (last visited __________).
Always file the plan with the petition to maximize the time for giving notice and to best fit into the routine administration of cases by the Chapter 13 trustee.1 If not filed with the petition, the plan must be filed within 14 days after the petition or, for cause shown, within such time as the court allows pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 3015. There are no advantages to delaying the filing of the plan. Delay in filing the plan is an invitation for a motion to dismiss or other trouble in the case.
If you can’t file the plan within 14 days of the petition, you must file a motion for an extension of time and be prepared to prove cause. Don’t delay filing that motion. Waiting to apologize instead of timely asking for permission is a recipe for failure.
The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA)2 created new incentives for debtors to always file the plan with the petition. For example, as amended by BAPCPA, § 1326(a)(1)(B) and (C)3 now require Chapter 13 debtors to make preconfirmation payments with respect to leases of personal property and to provide adequate protection to some creditors holding allowed claims secured by personal property. Chapter 13 debtors can file a series of motions or other papers with respect to these preconfirmation obligations or more efficiently simply include in the proposed plan—filed with the petition—provisions for the required preconfirmation payments. The proposed plan will be immediately noticed to all creditors—including the lessors of personal property and the holders of allowed claims secured by personal property that are entitled to preconfirmation payments under new § 1326. Managing § 1326(a)(1) payments to and through the Chapter 13 trustee prior to confirmation is one more incentive to file the plan with the petition in a Chapter 13 case.
1 See also §§ 38.2 [ Time for Filing Schedules, Statement of Financial Affairs, Plan and Other Documents ] § 37.4 Time for Filing Schedules, Statement of Financial Affairs, Plan and Other Documents and 55.1 [ Debtor Must File a Plan ] § 51.2 Debtor Must File a Plan.
2 Pub. L. No. 109-8, 119 Stat. 23 (2005).
3 See §§ 404.1 [ Adequate Protection before Confirmation ] § 47.2 Preconfirmation Adequate Protection after BAPCPA, 426.1 [ Adequate Protection Rights before Confirmation ] § 57.3 Preconfirmation Adequate Protection Rights after BAPCPA and 427.1 [ Preconfirmation Rights of Landlords and Lessors ] § 57.4 Preconfirmation Rights of Landlords and Lessors after BAPCPA.