The Chapter 13 plan must be approved (confirmed) by the bankruptcy court. A confirmation hearing is held within 2 months after the bar date for filing proofs of claims. See Chapter 13 Timeline. At the confirmation hearing, the bankruptcy judge reviews the plan and determines whether the plan meets the legal requirement for confirmation. See Chapter 13 Plan Requirements.

If the plan is ready to be confirmed and all objections were either withdrawn or settled by the parties, the debtor or counsel may be excused from attending the confirmation hearing. If there are no objections, the court will likely confirm the plan at the hearing. If there are unresolved objections, after hearing all parties’ arguments, the bankruptcy judge will decide whether or not the plan should be confirmed. If the judge needs further evidence, the confirmation hearing may be continued or the matter may be set for trial of an evidentiary hearing.

If the court confirms the plan, the trustee will distribute the payments received under the plan to creditors. After confirmation, the debtor continues to make payments to the trustee, who in turn makes the distributions to creditors under the plan, unless the plan provides for certain payments to be made by the debtor directly to creditor. 

If the court declines to confirm the plan, the debtor may file a modified plan. See Plan Modification. The debtor may also convert the case to a liquidation case under chapter 7. See Conversion. If the court declines to confirm the plan or the modified plan and instead dismisses the case, the court may authorize the trustee to keep some funds for costs, but the trustee must return all remaining funds to the debtor (other than funds already disbursed or due to creditors).

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