My Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Is Filed, Now What?

Answers to your basic chapter 13 bankruptcy questions by Jan Hamilton, Standing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee in Topeka, Kansas:

Please Read This Entire Letter. It contains information needed to complete your Chapter 13 Plan and answers certain questions you may have. If you have a question that is not addressed here, you should contact your attorney. The Trustee’s office does not give legal advice. You may also access your case information by visiting the National Data Center at their website at

What Do I Need to Do Now?

In accordance with LBR 4001.2, at least seven days before your First Meeting of Creditors, you must provide the Trustee with a copy of the most recently filed state and federal income tax returns.

When and where is my First Meeting of Creditors?

Your First Meeting of Creditors is scheduled for______________. The Meeting will be held at the U.S. Post Office, Room 303, 424 S. Kansas Avenue, Topeka, Kansas. PLEASE BE ON TIME!  >>You must attend the First Meeting of Creditors, otherwise a Motion to Dismiss your case will be filed.<<

What do I need to bring?

In accordance with Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, you must bring PROOF OF IDENTITY and PROOF OF YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER. A driver’s license with a photo and a Social Security Card is sufficient.

How much is my plan payment?

Your plan payment is $________ to be paid MONTHLY. This figure may change over the life of your case.

When is my plan payment due?

Your first plan payment is due within 30 days of the date of filing your petition. If your plan states payments are to be withheld from your paycheck, then you are responsible for making payments until you note on your paystub the payment has been withheld from your check. If full plan payments are not made each month, the Trustee may file a Motion to Dismiss your case.

How do I make my plan payment?

Payments can be made by personal check, money order or cashier’s check. Make them payable to:  Jan Hamilton, Trustee, and mail them to PO Box 3527, Topeka Kansas 66601-3527.  Always include your case number on your payment. Personal checks returned due to insufficient funds must be replaced by a money order or cashier’s check. If the Trustee receives two NSF checks during the pendancy of your case, you will no longer be allowed to remit personal checks for payments and a Motion to Dismiss will be filed.  If you want to bring your payment to the Trustee’s office, you may do so at the address noted above between the hours of 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM. We also have a drop box for payments made after hours.  NO CASH PAYMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED!

Can my plan payment be made by my employer?

Yes. The Trustee encourages debtors to have their plan payments withheld from their paychecks as these cases seem to have a higher success rate than debtor direct pay plans.

What if I cannot make my plan payment?

If you are temporarily unable to make your plan payments due to layoff, medical leave, or other change in circumstances, contact your attorney as soon as possible to see if an amendment to your plan can solve the problem. The Trustee’s office has no authority to let you miss a plan payment or allow you to pay less than your plan requires.  Only the Court can make such a decision.

How long does my plan run?

Generally, plans will run between 36 and 60 months. The length of your plan is determined by many factors and any modifications to your plan may change the number of months your plan will run.

What about Court hearings?

It is unlikely that you will be required to attend any Court hearings during the pendency of your case. Your attorney will attend the Confirmation Hearing scheduled in your case and should inform you if your attendance is required at any other hearings.

What if I move or change jobs?

If you move during the pendency of your case, you must notify the Trustee, in writing, of your new address. If you change employment, you must notify the Trustee in writing.  Any significant change in income must also be reported to the Trustee.

Can I borrow money or get further in debt while I am in bankruptcy?

You may not incur debt while you are in bankruptcy without prior approval of the Court except for debts which are necessary for the health and protection of the debtor and family, such as food, necessary clothing, emergency lodging or medical care.

What if I want to sell my house or other assets while in bankruptcy?

During the pendency of your plan, you may not sell, encumber or in any manner dispose of assets without prior order of the Court except as may be required in the normal course of your business, if you are engaged in business.

What about my pre-petition income tax refunds?

Pre-petition tax refunds are refunds you become entitled to prior to the filing of your bankruptcy case. These refunds are the property of the bankruptcy estate and generally must be paid to the Trustee.

What about my post-petition income tax refunds?

Post-petition tax refunds are refunds which you become entitled to after the filing of your bankruptcy case. These refunds may be paid to the Trustee to shorten the length pf your plan.

I have unfiled tax returns. How will that affect my case?

If you have unfiled tax returns at the time of the 341 Meeting, the meeting may be held open until those returns are filed. A case may not be confirmed if there are unfiled tax returns, and a case may be dismissed if such returns remain unfiled.

I just re-read the papers that I signed and discovered a discrepancy. What should I do?

Notify your attorney of any mistakes and point them out to the Trustee at your First Meeting of Creditors.

How will I know when my plan is completed?

The Trustee will file a Final Account and Motion for Entry of Discharge Order after you have paid sufficient funds to the Trustee to pay your creditors according to your plan, and after the Trustee has made the final disbursements to the creditors. The Court will grant a discharge of your debts approximately 30 days after the above pleadings have been filed.

FG109 Rev 09-07


PO BOX 3527, TOPEKA, KANSAS 66601-3527


(785) 234-1551 OR (800) 332-0356

About Jill Michaux

Jill Michaux is a Kansas bankruptcy attorney. She can be found on Google+. She and her partner, Mark Neis, are Topeka's only board certified consumer bankruptcy law specialists.