Frequenty Asked Questions
What is the role of the Trustee?
The Chapter 13 Trustee is appointed by the Department of Justice and works with but independent of the court system. The job of the Trustee is to monitor and administer those chapter 13 bankruptcy cases assigned to him. The Trustee reviews all the financial information submitted by the individual filing chapter 13 and also reviews all claims filed by the creditors. The Trustee evaluates all this information and then determines whether the particular chapter 13 case should be confirmed by the bankruptcy Judge. The party filing the bankruptcy makes monthly payments to the Trustee and, at month-end, the Trustee distributes those funds to creditors in accordance with the provisions of the Bankruptcy Code.
Although the Trustee is not permitted to give legal advice, the Trustee does play an active role in assisting persons who file chapter 13 with the implementation of their chapter 13 plan.
Where should I send my payments?
Plan payments are NOT accepted at our office. The only Trustee approved methods of payment are TFS or Employer deductions. Please see the payments section of the website for more information.
Is there a way to track my payments online?
You may access your bankruptcy case information through the National Data Center (NDC) at www.ndc.org. Follow the self-registration process on their site to get started. Data on the site is updated daily and reflects up to the close of business the previous day.
Is there a penalty if I pay my case off early?
If you would like to pay your case off early, be sure to get the advice of your attorney. Your attorney will assess your case and determine if you meet the criteria to pay your case off before you have met your Plan terms. There are instances where the Plan Base is increased if you pay off early.
I need short-term relief from my payments. Is that possible?
A suspension of Plan payments may be possible. Contact your attorney to discuss your options.
My financial situation has substantially changed and I can’t make my scheduled payments. What should I do?
If you have a change in your financial circumstances and are unable to make your Chapter 13 Plan payments, you should contact your attorney. Your attorney will advise you as to what options you may have to bring your case current.
I or my spouse lost our job. What should I do?
If you have a change in your financial circumstances due to the loss of employment or a reduction in income, you should contact your attorney. Your attorney will advise you as to what steps need to be taken to modify your repayment plan.
I or my spouse got a new job. What should I do?
If you gain new employment, you should provide the Trustee, in writing, the name and payroll address for your new employer. You should also contact your attorney to provide them with new payroll and income information.
The Trustee will amend your Order Confirming Plan so that your Plan payments will begin being deducted from your new source of income. Keep in mind that during the transition, you are responsible for keeping your payments current until the new payroll deduction begins.
If you pay through TFS Billpay, no changes will be made to your Order Confirming Plan; however, you must still provide the Trustee with the name and address of your new employer.
I or my spouse is retiring. What should I do?
If you are retiring, you should notify the Trustee as well as your attorney. There are two acceptable ways to make your Chapter 13 Plan payments; either via our online service, TFSBillpay.com or through payroll deduction. The Trustee will need to know which method you prefer. Automatic deductions can be set up by logging in to TFSBillpay.com. If you want the payments to be deducted from your retirement pay, the Trustee will need the name and address for your retirement service. (Not all retirement servicers are required or permitted to take deductions from retirement pay).
I had a car accident and the vehicle is included in my bankruptcy. What should I do?
Contact your attorney’s office and advise them of the accident. Your attorney will work with the insurance company and the Trustee to resolve the matter.
I need a copy of my Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Plan and Schedules. Can I get that from your office?
Your attorney should have provided you with copies of your bankruptcy paperwork. If you need additional copies, please contact your attorney.
My attorney is not responding what actions can I take?
First look through the blue booklet that was given to you during your Meeting of Creditors (341 Meeting) or this website and see if your question can be answered. Try to give your attorney 24 to 48 hours to return your phone call. If you are able, visit your attorney's office and try to speak with a member of his/her staff or speak with the attorney himself/herself. If you are unable to reach him via phone, try other forms of communication such as e-mail, fax or letter. As the last resort, send the Trustee a detailed letter regarding your issue and lack of communication you are having with your attorney. The Trustee will try to assist you or contact your attorney.
Is it okay to call the Trustee’s office if I have questions about my case?
All Debtors are should feel comfortable contacting the Trustee’s office with questions on the administration of their Chapter 13 Plan payments. However, the employees of the Trustee’s office are unable to answer legal questions.
Is it okay to contact my creditors or for them to contact me?
While in bankruptcy, you should not have direct contact with your creditors. If an issue with a creditor arises, please contact your attorney.