Debtor filed a voluntary Chapter 7 petition on September 23, 2015. She converted her case to a Chapter 13 on December 1, 2015, and the Court entered an order to that effect. Consequently, a new meeting of creditors under section 341(a) was set. Notice of the section 341(a) meeting was sent to all creditors, and a new claims bar date was set for April 14, 2016, by operation of Rule 3002(c). The Debtor then filed a Chapter 13 plan and schedules listing specific treatment of a secured creditor. Notice of the plan was sent to all creditors. With no objections, the Court confirmed the Debtor’s plan. The April 14, 2016, claims bar date came and passed without the secured creditor filing a proof of claim. Subsequently, the additional 30 days permitting the Debtor to file a proof of claim also came and passed without the filing of a proof of claim on the secured creditor’s behalf. Debtor filed a proof of claim for the secured creditor on October 26, 2016, approximately six months after the claims bar date. The Trustee requested a hearing. The Court denied the proof of claim, but upheld and enforced the terms and provisions of the confirmed plan. By distinguishing In re Pajian, 785 F.3d 1161 (7th Cir. 2015), and In re Hrubec, 544 B.R. 397 (Bankr. N.D. Ill. 2016), the Court concluded that while the better practice would have been for the secured creditor (or the Debtor or Trustee on its behalf) to file a claim, section 1327(a) binds the debtor and the creditor to the terms of the plan. And, importantly, section 1326(a) directs the trustee to distribute payments in accordance with the plan without referencing Rules 3002 and 3021. Finally, when there is specific notice of the secured creditor’s claim in a proposed plan, plan confirmation, under certain circumstances, serves as a method to determine a secured claim’s treatment.
11 U.S.C. § 502 -- Allowance of Claims
11 U.S.C. § 1326 -- Payments
11 U.S.C. § 1327 -- Effect of Confirmation
Fed. R. Bankr. P. 3002 -- Filing Proof of Claim or Interest
Fed. R. Bankr. P. 3021 -- Distribution Under Plan
Claims - Late Filed