Bankruptcy: What is a Motion to Extend Deadlines?

There are many different deadlines in bankruptcy cases. These deadlines include but are not limited to the time allowed to file objections to confirmation, objections to claims, notice of hearings, and proof of claims. When a party to the bankruptcy believes they are going to miss a deadline they can ask the court for additional time. Asking the court for additional time is done by filing a Motion to Extend Deadlines. These motions are a very common occurrence at the beginning of bankruptcy cases.

Sometimes debtors file Chapter 13 cases to stop a foreclosure, repossession of a vehicle, or a wage garnishment. In these situations it may be necessary to file the bankruptcy case very quickly in order to put the automatic stay in place and prevent damage to the debtor. The fastest way to file a bankruptcy case is to file the bare minimum documents necessary to put the automatic stay in place. This is accomplished by filing the petition, creditor matrix, a form 21 (social security verification), a certificate of completion of a credit counseling course, and a signed declaration page. Filing a bankruptcy case this way is sometimes referred to as a barebones bankruptcy filing.

After filing a barebones bankruptcy case, debtors are given 14 days from the date they file their petition to file the remaining documents required in the case. These include the schedules, statement of financial affairs, current monthly income statement, a Chapter 13 plan, and several other documents. Sometimes debtors are unable to file some of these documents within fourteen days because they are missing information needed to prepare the documents. In this situation the debtor can request an additional 14 days to file the documents by filing a motion to extend deadlines. These motions are rarely set for a hearing, so a proposed order granting the motion should be filed with the motion.