Paying the Chapter 13 Trustee

While most Chapter 13 payments will be made to the Chapter 13 Trustee via wage attachments or bank attachments, some payments will be made directly by the debtor on their own.

Typically, this occurs at the beginning of the case before the wage attachment takes effect, or when the debtor is transitioning between jobs. This post describes how to make these direct payments.

All payments to the Chapter 13 Trustee must be mailed via normal mail to the following address (NOTE: Do NOT use any form of mail that requires a signature from the Trustee, such as certified mail, as the Trustee will NOT accept it.):

Ronda J. Winnecour

P.O. Box 1132

Memphis, TN 38101-1132

Payments will only be accepted by the Chapter 13 Trustee if they are money orders or certified checks... personal checks and cash will NOT be accepted. 

Your money order or certified check should include your bankruptcy case number, which will be in the form of 16-12345 (year the case was filed, dash, and then five digits). Keep a record of your payment in case it is lost in the mail or otherwise mishandled.

Your first payment will become due 30 days after your case is filed (otherwise, your case will be dismissed). Typically, you will stop making the payment directly when you see the wage attachment come out of your paycheck, or the bank attachment come out of your bank account. But, always verify this with your attorney. Missed payments could result in the need to increase your plan payment to catch up, or in a worst case scenario, the dismissal of your case.

So, to summarize, here is everything you need to know about mailing your payment directly to the Chapter 13 Trustee when your attorney advises you to do so...

  • Mail (regular mail)  to Ronda J. Winnecour, P.O. Box 1132, Memphis, TN 38101-1132
  • Money orders and certified checks ONLY, no personal checks or money orders
  • Remember to write your case number on your certified check or money order
  • The first payment is due 30 days after the filing of your case

If you have any questions about your bankruptcy payment, contact us immediately.

Paying for Bankruptcy

It's a common and reasonable question, "How do I pay for my bankruptcy?"

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the bulk of the legal fees and court costs are paid through the Chapter 13 plan. Generally, some money is paid up front to cover the court filings and initial work needed to file the bankruptcy petition. The remainder of the fees and costs will be paid to your bankruptcy attorney over the course of the 3 to 5 year plan, through the plan itself.

If attorney fees in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy go beyond the normal  amount anticipated, your attorney may file a "fee petition" to collect additional fees. However, the good news is that these fees are also paid through the Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan. None of the extra attorney fees will come out of your pocket directly; in fact, money formerly directed to your unsecured creditors may be used to pay your attorney fees at this point.

It should be noted, a fee petition will never occur without your knowledge or approval. A fee petition must be approved by the court and served on you before it will be approved. You will always have a clear, exact idea of what your attorney fees are when you retain my office.

Paying for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can sometimes be trickier. Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves lower income filers, so money is often tighter. Knowing this, my office strives to offer flexible payment plans. I know that sometimes it will take weeks to pay me, sometimes months. An important part of my job is making it work. Whether the payments are large or small, my office will provide the same exceptional service and care.

Payments can also be made by third parties, such as parents, friends, and siblings. Gifts such as these are permitted to help debtors file bankruptcy. Tax returns can also be used, and this is important to keep in mind early in the calendar year. If you are anticipating a large tax return, use it to clear out your old debts! We can figure out a way to work with your current budget and financial situation.

Considering that bankruptcy can save tens-of-thousands of dollars, the fees involved shouldn't be viewed as something that cannot be overcome. Contact us for a free consultation and we can discuss your best way to pay for bankruptcy.