Making Plan Payments
Once you file your Chapter 13 Petition, your payment requirements begin immediately and your first payment is due within 30 days. Thereafter, you must make your plan payments on time and in full each month. You may make payments by wage order, by mail or by TFS Bill Pay. We DO NOT accept cash.
A wage order directs your employer to deduct your Chapter 13 plan payment from your wages and send it directly to the Chapter 13 Trustee. Historically, debtors with wage orders have the highest likelihood of success. Thus, it is the recommended option of payment and is usually required by the Chapter 13 Trustee. You should regularly check your paystub to ensure that your plan payment has been deducted timely and in the correct amounts. If the Wage Order is in place and the employer does not deduct the plan payment, the debtor remains obligated to make the plan payment directly to the Trustee timely and in full. It is the debtor’s responsibility to check with the payroll department to determine why the employer is not honoring the Wage Order.
If you do not have a Wage Order and would like to pay by Wage Order, or if you have gotten a new job and need a Wage Order issued to your new employer, you should contact your attorney.
You can make your payment by mailing a money order or certified check payable to the Chapter 13 Trustee. Unless you have previously presented a bad check to our office, you may also make payment by mailing a personal check. Your check or money order should be made payable to: Chapter 13 Trustee. In order for us to properly identify the payments as YOURS, please include on the face of your payment: your full name, address and case number.
Example of Information on Payment:
Payable to: Chapter 13 Trustee
From: Jane Doe, Case 18-12345
2351 Main Street
Cleveland, TN 37312
Mail Payments to:
Chapter 13 Trustee
PO Box 511
Chattanooga, TN 37401
TFS Bill Pay
If you do not want to mail your payments, then you may use TFS Bill Pay which is optional and requires additional fees payable to the vendor. With TFS Bill Pay, you can:
• Set up a one time or recurring electronic payments from your checking account
• Make in-person payments at authorized MoneyGram locations utilizing TFS Bill Pay with cash or debit card. This is the only cash or debit card option.
If you would like to find out more information about TFS Bill Pay, please go to www.tfsbillpay.com or consult with your attorney. TFS Bill Pay has a dedicated support team to help you, and they can be reached at 1-888-729-2413. If you want to utilize TFS Bill Pay, then you must register directly with them. TFS Bill Pay is a third-party vendor, and any use of these services is an agreement between you and the third-party vendor. Please note that payments made via TFS Bill Pay are optional and require additional costs collected by TFS Bill Pay – not the Chapter 13 Trustee. Making payments electronically is offered for your convenience.
Timeliness of Payments
Plan payments must be posted to your case before the end of the month to be available for disbursement to creditors in that cycle. Personal checks must be posted to your case at least 10 business days before the end of the month to be available for disbursements to creditors in that cycle. If a payment is not posted to the Trustee’s database within that time period, those funds will not be available for distribution to your creditors until the following month’s distribution cycle. DO NOT SEND POST-DATED CHECKS.
If you have problems making your plan payments because of illness, loss of job, family emergency or other serious event, you should inform your attorney immediately. The Chapter 13 Trustee cannot waive or excuse your payment requirements. The Chapter 13 Trustee is obligated to report to the Bankruptcy Court if you materially default on making payments. The Court may then enter an order dismissing your case and withdrawing the protection of the Bankruptcy Court. This could subject you to creditor collection efforts and other actions.