When do Chapter 13 plan payments start?

Debtors who file consumer bankruptcy cases under Chapter 13 are usually attempting to “dig themselves out of the hole” by making regular payments to a bankruptcy trustee, who, after deducting a commission, will distribute the funds to help pay creditors.

Once these debtors file a case, or right before they intend to file, they may be wondering how soon the payments start.

Under the current bankruptcy code, a first payment must be made within thirty days after the case is filed. Be careful to note that this may well be before you “go to court” for any type of hearing in the case; it will always be before your plan is confirmed.

Chapter 13 debtors in the Lawrence, Methuen, HaverhillĀ and Andover areas will be making their payments to the Chapter 13 trustee’s office in Worcester. Besides arriving within 30 days after filing, the payment must be made by a money order, no personal checks are allowed.

Most debtors will be sending in the basic monthly plan payment that their attorney has calculated. Some debtors, however, may not have filed a plan with the court yet. In this situation, debtors should send a money order for $150 to the trustee within the thirty day period; any adjustment will be made once the plan is filed with the court.


By Doug Beaton

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