Top 10 Things Every Chapter 13 Debtor Should Know

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  1. Keep your attorney and Chapter 13 Trustee’s Office informed of future changes in your address. This information is useful for notices, and also for refund checks payable to you.
  2. Re-read and understand your Chapter 13 Plan. Use the free online service to review your plan monthly and see how your balances fall. Click here to begin accessing your case online though the National Data Center.
  3. Under the new bankruptcy law, if you are paying less than 100% to your unsecured creditors, your plan may be required to last up to 60 months.
  4. Every debt you owe, contingent or disputed (business or individual), must be listed in your Chapter 13 Plan. This includes delinquent utilities. All debts must be paid through the plan unless there is justification, which is rare. There is no Chapter 13 protection if you pay direct.
  5. All income of occupants of the home must be listed in your plan; child support, rental income, etc.
  6. Your first Chapter 13 payment must be paid within 30 days of the date the plan is filed.
  7. If payments are missed, it is probable that your expected completion date will change. Note: You cannot complete your Plan as originally proposed if you don’t make all of your payments into your plan!
  8. If your employer is required to make deductions to the Trustee and fails to do so, it is your responsibility to mail the payment to the P.O. Box in Chicago until deductions begin. Click here for the payment address.
  9. The plan will not work if payments are not received. If you have an interruption in employment, please contact the Trustee’s Office to advise of your situation. Remember: Neither the trustee, nor his staff, can give you legal advice!! Contact your attorney.
  10. All regularly employed Chapter 13 debtors must make payments to the trustee by payroll deductions. All other payments received must be in the form of a cashier check or money order


This information is not meant to convey legal advice to an individual seeking Chapter 13 bankruptcy reorganization, but is meant strictly as an educational tool.