Debtor(s) Frequently Asked Questions

Are plan payments accepted at the Trustee's office address?

No. As a security measure, plan payments are not accepted at the office address. If you mail your plan payment to the office address, the payment will be forwarded to the payment address in Memphis which will delay the posting of your payment to your case.

How can I confirm that my plan payment has been received by the trustee?

You can access your case information, including the status of plan payments, through the National Data Center website ( provided that you comply with their requirements. Visit their website to register for a username and password.

Can the payment due date be changed?

Only the court can change the due date for your payments. Contact your attorney for assistance in filing the proper paperwork to request a change in the due date.

I will not be able to pay my plan payment this month. What should I do?

Contact your attorney immediately. Your attorney may be able to file documents requesting changes to the provisions of the plan by suspending payments, extending the plan term, or possibly changing the monthly payment amount. Do not call the trustee's office. The trustee cannot change the provisions of your plan or make any payment arrangements. Only the court can approve such changes.

My plan payments are delinquent. Can I make them up at the end of the case?

No. The trustee cannot make payment arrangements, and the trustee does not have the authority to change the provisions of your confirmed plan. Contact your attorney if you are not able to pay your plan payments as they come due. You must obtain a court order to change any of the provisions of your plan.

My plan payments are delinquent. Can I make payment arrangements?

No. The Trustee cannot make payment arrangements.

I received a Trustee's Motion to Dismiss my case for delinquency. What does that mean, and what should I do?

This means that you are behind in your plan payments and at risk of having your case dismissed. The trustee has no authority to allow you to miss a payment, make a payment late, pay an amount less than your plan requires, or change your payment date. Only the court can make such decisions. When you expect that you will not be able to meet the obligations of your plan, you should contact your attorney immediately to see if the requirements of your plan can be modified in order to accommodate your changed circumstances. Do not wait until you are delinquent to take action.

When does the Trustee mail disbursement checks?

The trustee's office generates disbursement checks on the last working day of the month. After a review of the checks is performed, they are mailed to creditors. Generally, disbursement checks are mailed at the beginning of the month following the month in which they were generated.

Can I pick up my check in person?

No. As a security measure, all disbursement checks, including debtor refunds, are mailed from a secure off-site location.

How are my Creditors Paid?

The plan payments that you send to the trustee are used to pay your creditors, as well as your attorney and the trustee. Your Chapter 13 plan determines which creditors are paid, the amounts of their payments, and when they will start receiving payments. Your attorney should be able to sit down and explain to you the payment to each and every creditor that has been proposed to be paid by your plan.

I just received a copy of the trustee's annual ledger, and there is a creditor listed that was discharged in my prior Chapter 7 case. What will the trustee do with this claim?

Contact your attorney to assist you in dealing with the claim. Unless the claim is withdrawn by the creditor or disallowed by the court, the trustee will pay the claim. Calling or writing to the trustee will not prevent the claim from being paid. Either the creditor must amend or withdraw its claim, or the court must order that the claim be disallowed.

What is a Notice of Filed Claims?

After the claims bar period expires, the trustee's office will mail a Notice of Filed Claims to you and your attorney. The Notice of Filed Claims will be based on the claims register from the court and any conformed proofs of claim received by the trustee. The Notice of Filed Claims will list all creditors who have filed claims, all creditors listed on your schedules who have not filed claims, and the amount of each claim. You should review the Notice of Filed Claims promptly and carefully. All filed claims listed on the Notice of Filed Claims, including duplicate claims, late-filed claims, or claims which were discharged in a prior Chapter 7 case, will be paid by the trustee unless you successfully object to the claim or the creditor amends or withdraws the claim.

You are in the best position to know whether the claims listed on the Notice of Filed Claims are legitimately your debts. Therefore, it is your responsibility to ensure that only valid claims are paid.

If you feel that you do not owe certain debts listed on the Notice of Filed Claims, contact your attorney. Do not contact the trustee. Unless there is a court order, the trustee has no authority to withhold payments to a creditor who has filed a proof of claim. If you do not schedule a hearing and successfully object to the claim, or if the creditor does not amend or withdraw the claim, the trustee will pay the claim as filed. Letters or telephone calls to the Trustee do not constitute objections to claims and will not stop the Notice of Filed Claims period from running. The form and content of objections to claims are governed by Local Bankruptcy Rules and other applicable law.

What is a Notice of Intent to Pay Additional Claim?

As previously noted, after the claims bar period expires, the trustee's office will mail a Notice of Filed Claims to you and your attorney. Any time the trustee receives a conformed copy of a claim after the initial Notice of Filed Claims, the trustee will send you and your attorney a Notice of Intent to Pay Additional Claim. This notice will include claims that came to the trustee's attention after the original Notice of Filed Claims was served. If there is no objection to the claim, the trustee will pay the claim.

I want to pay my plan off early. How do I find out the payoff amount?

You may send a written request to the trustee's correspondence address asking for an estimated payoff amount. Understand, however, that any payoff figure you receive from the trustee's office is an estimate. It will not include any filed claims of which the trustee is not aware, nor will it include interest that will accrue in the future on any secured claims. If your plan pays less than 100% to your unsecured creditors, you may be required to increase that percentage to 100% if you are seeking to pay your plan off early. Contact your attorney for more details.

I just made my last plan payment. When will I get my discharge?

After the final plan payment has been made, there are a series of steps that must be completed before a discharge is granted. You must file your 1328 certificate(s) verifying eligibility for a discharge. Once all disbursement checks have been negotiated, the trustee's office will file a Final Report and Account. Creditors are given a period of time to object to the Final Report and Account. After that time has passed and no objections have been filed, the trustee's office will request an Order Approving the Final Report and Account. The court will then docket a Notice of Intent to Enter Chapter 13 Discharge. If no objections are filed within 14 days of the Notice of Intent to Enter Chapter 13 Discharge, the court will enter a discharge, issue a Final Decree and close the case. The discharge process generally takes four to six months.

I have moved. How do I notify the trustee of my new address?

In order for the trustee's office to update its records, a Change of Address form must be completed and filed with the court. The form can be found on the United States Bankruptcy Court Eastern District of California website ( It should be filled out and returned directly to the court for processing. Please contact your attorney for assistance with updating your address.

What are the requirements regarding insurance while my Chapter 13 plan is pending?

You are required to maintain insurance on all property that serves as security for your debt to any creditor. This includes vehicles, real property, and any business assets if you are a debtor engaged in business. If you do not maintain insurance, the court may permit the creditor to repossess or foreclose on the property that is the security for the debt. If you have any questions regarding insurance, contact your attorney.

What are the requirements regarding post-petition taxes and tax returns while my Chapter 13 plan is pending?

You are required to file your individual tax returns each year as they come due and to pay any taxes that you owe. Debtors engaged in business must also timely file all appropriate state and federal returns as required by law. If you fail to file your tax returns or pay your taxes, the court can dismiss your case. If you have any questions regarding taxes, contact your attorney.

I need to buy a new car, and the dealer says I have to get a letter from the trustee. Can I get a letter from the trustee?

No. If you wish to incur debt (buy or lease a car, sell, buy, or refinance a home) you must obtain a court order. The trustee does not have the authority to give letters of approval. Contact your attorney for assistance.

Should I be contacted by creditors after completion of my Chapter 13 plan?

When a creditor's claim has been fully paid through your plan, the creditor should, and usually does, send the "paid-in-full" documents to you. If the creditor does not provide the "pink slip", send the creditor a copy of your discharge along with a letter of explanation. If you are still not able to obtain the requested documents, contact your attorney. If you receive any request for additional money after your plan is completed, do not pay without first talking to your attorney.

Anything else I should know?

Complying with a Chapter 13 plan is not easy. You may have to make significant sacrifices in order to meet the obligations that you have specified in your plan and still live within your Chapter 13 budget. Keep in mind, however, that the time period of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is relatively short, and the reward for successful completion of your Chapter 13 plan is a fresh financial start.

Notice: This web site is provided with the understanding that the Chapter 13 Trustee Office is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent person should be sought.