HOW CHAPTER 12
Married individuals must gather this
information for each spouse regardless of whether they are filing
a joint petition, separate individual petitions, or even if only
one spouse is filing. In a situation where only one spouse files,
the income and expenses of the non-filing spouse is required so
that the court, the trustee, and the creditors can evaluate the
household’s financial position.
When a chapter 12 petition is filed, an
impartial trustee is appointed to administer the case. 11 U.S.C.
§ 1202. In some districts, the U.S. trustee appoints a standing
trustee to serve in all chapter 12 cases. 28 U.S.C. § 586(b). As
in chapter 13, the trustee both evaluates the case and serves as a
disbursing agent, collecting payments from the debtor and making
distributions to creditors. 11 U.S.C. § 1202.
Filing the petition under chapter 12 “automatically
stays” (stops) most collection actions against the debtor or the
debtor’s property. 11 U.S.C. § 362. Filing the petition does
not, however, stay certain types of actions listed under 11 U.S.C.
§ 362(b). The stay arises by operation of law and requires no
judicial action. As long as the stay is in effect, creditors
generally cannot initiate or continue any lawsuits, wage
garnishments, or even telephone calls demanding payments. The
bankruptcy clerk gives notice of the bankruptcy case to all
creditors whose names and addresses are provided by the debtor.