Chapter 13 When and How to Make the Monthly Payment
For the very first, look for the amount of your Chapter 13 monthly payment. The amount you must pay each month is always given to you when you sign your Chapter 13 plan. They both tell you the amount verbally and have it written down for you. There will also be many other pieces of useful information about your Chapter 13 case where they wrote down the payment amount.
Once you locate the amount you must pay, make sure to make the first payment within 30 days after the case was filed. Look on your bankruptcy notice that you receive through the mail. On top of the notice, you will see the day your case was filed.
Your first payment will always be due 30 days after the date your case was filed. Remember, this is almost always BEFORE you go to the bankruptcy meeting. If you are planning to make your first payment after you go to the bankruptcy meeting, then you misunderstood the instructions. You must usually make your first payment BEFORE you go to the bankruptcy meeting.
You will continue to make this same monthly payment (unless you are told otherwise later) each month at this exact same time. Whatever day the first payment was due in the month, all future payments will be due on the same day. You will keep making the same monthly payment until your plan is completed usually 3-5 years later. Remember, you must make this payment every month for the whole life of the plan! Sometimes payments will be forced to change. Just keep making the same payment unless you are informed otherwise.
How to Make Your Chapter 13 Payment
First, you must identify which Chapter 13 Trustee was assigned to your case. Look back to your bankruptcy notice again. Your trustee will be printed in the center of the bankruptcy notice. If you have filed in central Indiana, your trustee will either be John Hauber or Ann DeLaney.
You can pay three ways. The most simple is to send a check or money order to the Trustee’s PO Box in Memphis, Tennessee. Make sure to pick your correct Trustee’s address. Make sure also to include your full name and case number with your check or money order. The central processing center there will process your payment:
John Hauber, Trustee: PO BOX 2405 Memphis, TN 3801-2405
Ann M. DeLaney, Trustee PO Box 250 Memphis, TN 38101-0250
(NOTE: You may have a different Trustee if outside of Central Indiana)
The second way to pay is through E-Pay. This is a simple system that allows you to set up automatic or direct payments from your bank account:
The third and probably the best way to pay is through wage assignment. This is the gold standard for Chapter 13 payments. These payments will eventually just take your payment directly out during each paycheck in small amounts each time you are paid. These are free and are set up by your attorney.
Monitor Your Payments to Make Sure They Are Correctly Made
Make sure to monitor your paycheck, bank account, or set a bill reminder to ensure that your payment is paid correctly and on time each month. You will not receive monthly statements or bills for the Chapter 13 during your case. It is your responsibility to make sure that the payments are made correctly no matter which system you are using.
For wage assignment, it is important to monitor whether your payment is both 1) actually coming out of your pay and 2) the correct amount is coming out each paycheck. Also, you may need to pay the payments directly for a short time before the wage assignment starts coming out. Because of slow employers and changes that sometimes happen during Chapter 13 cases, you must periodically check to see if the correct amounts are coming out each paycheck. Although wage assignment and E-Pay are automatic and easy ways to pay your Chapter 13, it is still necessary to monitor these payments each month to make sure that they are being made correctly.