In Chapter 13 cases, a confirmation hearing is a court hearing required by the Bankruptcy Code. Confirmation hearings are not held in Chapter 7 cases. The purpose of the confirmation hearing is to resolve any objection of the trustee, creditors and other parties to the debtor’s proposed Chapter 13 plan. If everyone is in agreement, the case is confirmed. If there is an unresolved objection to the plan by any party, a confirmation hearing will be held in order for the judge to address and rule on the party’s concerns.
In most Chapter 13 cases, the confirmation hearing does not actually occur. This is because the confirmation hearing is usually set far enough in advance (a month or so after the 341 meeting of creditors) that any objections can be addressed and resolved well in advance of the scheduled confirmation hearing. If there are no open objections to the confirmation of the Chapter 13 plan, the plan will be confirmed before the hearing date and thus the hearing will not be held since it is then unnecessary at that time.
In other cases, there may be many issues to work out prior to the confirmation hearing, and additional time may be requested to resolve the issues. Often in such cases, the parties and the court will allow the confirmation hearing to be continued to a later date in order to allow additional time for the debtor’s attorney to resolve the outstanding issues.
If a confirmation hearing is held, the parties in interest, usually the debtor, the trustee, and the objecting creditor, will appear before the bankruptcy judge and present their arguments. Witnesses may be called and testimony taken. Depending on the nature of the issue, the judge may decide the issue at that time, or request additional briefing from the parties, or may defer her ruling and set another hearing to resolve threshold questions before ruling on the issues addressed at the confirmation hearing.