What About for Chapter 13?
With a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the general rules are similar, if not exact. The filing date of the petition is the official cut off for included debts and a listing of the debts, assets, and a proposed plan is submitted to the courts and assigned to a trustee. There will be a 341 hearing (same as with the Chapter 7) which gives the creditors an opportunity to object or ask for a revision or even just to be present for more information. The creditors must file claims with the court to prove the amounts that are owed. The trustee then reviews and revises the plan based on the petition, bankruptcy law, and on the claims submitted. Finally, the plan, in final form, is submitted by the trustee and an opportunity is given to the creditors and debtor(s) to object. When the objection deadline has passed, the plan is made official, or in legal terms, "confirmed."
If a forgotten debt is discovered during this process, schedules will likely need to be amended and the plan (or proposed plan) revised. This is much easier if the debt is discovered before the Chapter 13 plan has been confirmed. If the plan has already been confirmed, then motions will need to be filed, new court hearings held, and the process of the trustee plan approval started again. As you can expect, the legal fees for the addition of the debt after filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy can get quite expensive.
Adding a new debt after filing for bankruptcy, or adding creditors after filing bankruptcy, is actually somewhat more feasible with a Chapter 13. After all, the plan is intended to extend over 3 to 5 years and it is unreasonable to think that new debt would not be incurred. For the most part, all new loans or debts, must be first approved by the Trustee. In general, the process is to submit the proposed new debt to your bankruptcy attorney who in turn sends it to the Trustee. A revised plan may need to be issued if the new debt to be added after the initial filing for bankruptcy will require a change in the calculation of the plan.
For example, trading in a car, and replacing it with a newer vehicle with similar monthly payments may be approved by the Trustee without a total plan revision. Since much of this process depends on the rules of the local courts, this will of course also need to be carefully discussed and planned with your bankruptcy attorney before you change any debts. In fact, some changes in your debt structure and monthly income can actually cause a collapse of the Chapter 13 plan, so advance review with your attorney is vital.