Chapter 13 plans are generally between 36 and 60 months. A plan cannot run less then 36 months from the first payment unless 100% of what is owed to all creditors is paid. Your plan may be required to be 60 months long depending on your circumstances. The law requires that a plan not exceed 60 months. There are many things that may occur during your Chapter 13 plan that can cause your plan to run longer than what you had originally planned. You need to keep this in mind when you try to determine how much time remains in your case. Please contact your attorney if you have questions regarding the length of your plan.
One of the most common reasons that a plan will run longer than originally estimated is that claims filed by creditors and allowed are different than what you originally scheduled. You should, therefore, review all claims filed in your case and pay particular attention to the periodic reports that the Trustee sends to you. You must file a formal objection to claims with the Bankruptcy Court (and serve or mail copies to the Trustee and to the Creditor or the Creditors Attorney) if you have any disagreement about a claim.
Another common reason that a plan will run longer than originally estimated is the filing of post-petition claims by mortgage companies and taxing authorities. It is critical that you pay all post-petition mortgage payments on time and in full and that you pay all taxes that become due after you have filed your Chapter 13 case.
There may be other reasons that your plan will run longer than originally scheduled. You should contact your attorney for your options if your plan is running longer than scheduled.
Plan payments must be in the form of a cashiers check, bank check or money order or employers check. Personal checks and cash are not permitted for Chapter 13 payments. You should write clearly your name and case number on the payment. Your first plan payment is due thirty (30) days after your bankruptcy plan is filed and on that date each month thereafter. If timely payments are not made, the Trustee may ask the Bankruptcy Court to dismiss your case. The Trustees Office will deduct plan payments from your paycheck when that is available. You have a much better chance of successfully completing your Chapter 13 plan when your plan payments are deducted from your paycheck.
If your plan payment is deducted from your paycheck, it is still your responsibility to ensure that the payments are made. If you get a paycheck and your plan payment has not been deducted, you should immediately make your plan payment by money order, cashiers check or bank check to the Trustees Office.
All payments to the Trustees Office should be mailed to:
Office of Chapter 13 Trustee
P O Box 730
Memphis, TN 38101-0730
Plan payments may not be made in person.
Again, make sure to save all receipts for all payments you send or your paycheck stubs if the payments are deducted. If there is any discrepancy, you will have a record of your payments and there will be a method of tracing the payments. If there are any hearings related to discrepancies in payments with either the trustee or a creditor, be sure to bring the receipts that you have to court on the date of your hearing. Provide copies of the receipts to your attorney as soon as you know there is a discrepancy or you receive notice of a motion or hearing regarding your payments.