Do I get to keep any of my disposable income if I file for a chapter 13 bankruptcy? 18 Answers as of September 24, 2011

If I file for chapter 13 bankruptcy, do I get to keep any of my disposable income? I know you end up with a set payment plan for some of your debt, but I want to make sure I get to keep some disposable income. I still need to live.

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Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
Your question is to broad to answer with any specificity. However the chapter 13 scheme provides for your monthly living expenses.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/24/2011
AyerHoffman, LLP
AyerHoffman, LLP | Melissa Hoffman
When determining the appropriate Chapter 13 Plan Amount, standard living expenses are figured in, including housing, food, utilities, transportation costs, any secured debts that you will continue to pay while in bankruptcy and other debts that may need to be paid in full before the end of your plan.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 9/22/2011
Bankruptcy Law Center
Bankruptcy Law Center | Bill Zurinskas
In chapter 13 bankruptcy, the monthly disposable income goes to the chapter 13 trustee.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 9/22/2011
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
In a chapter 13 you are required to include all disposable income into the payment plan. Disposable income is the excess of income minus ordinary monthly expenses. If you do not have disposable income you cannot file a chapter 13.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/21/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
The court will set the budget, and it is tight. You need a competent lawyer to evaluate your income for the last 6 months to determine what you have to pay. Often it is less that what you are paying now.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/21/2011
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    If you are filing a 100% plan, then you can keep your disposable income. However, if you are filing for less than 100% re payment of debts, then the trustee can take any disposable income that he deems fit. You should consult your attorney to see how much disposable income you truly have. It often is less than you think.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/21/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    As I am sure your lawyer told you (and do NOT file) without a lawyer, Chapter 13 REQUIRES you to commit 100% of your disposable income to your plan. A properly written budget and plan will leave you with income to live on. That is why you use a good lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Heupel Law
    Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
    The idea behind Chapter 13 is that all of your disposable income goes towards your unsecured debt. However, in calculating your disposable income there is an allowance to cover all of your basic needs such as food, gas, utilities, medical, etc. Thus, you typically have enough money to live on while you are in an active Chapter 13 plan.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy | Dan Wilson
    The plan payment is calculated using a form called 22C. The form calculates what is called your Monthly Disposable Income. Generally, that amount is your presumptive plan payment. MDI is calculated by starting with your gross income, deducting taxes, and then deducting amounts reasonably necessary for the maintenance of the household. Most of the deductions follow IRS standardsso much for food, utilities, car operation expenses, etc. The allowances are generous enough to live on if you budget your money.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Law Office of Harry L Styron
    Law Office of Harry L Styron | Harry L Styron
    Your question implies you have the wrong idea about what is disposable income. For a Chapter 13 bankruptcy it is your gross income, less taxes, less payments on secured debt (houses, cars and such) less your ordinary living expenses (utilities, food, clothing, maintenance, charitable contributions, etc.). Whatever is left over after you figure all that out is "disposable income" for Chapter 13 purposes. See Bankruptcy Schedules I and J (which you can find on line by Googling) for a complete rundown.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Harris
    Law Office of Andrew Harris | Andrew Harris
    The Chapter 13 Plan payment is based on a budget that should allow you enough funds to live on and make that payment.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    Your disposable income is the income left over after your living expenses. This is the money available to pay your debts.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law | Judith A. Runyon
    Not unless you have disposable income after a 100% plan.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    You will live. You total up your living expenses and compare them to your income. If the income is higher and leaves you with surplus income, then that amount is used to pay creditors. In other words you are allowed and expected to pay your living expenses.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    Disposable income is what is left over to pay the Chapter 13 Trustee after allowance is made for your expenses to live. However, what living expenses are allowable by the Chapter 13 Trustee and the amount of an expense which will be allowed by the Chapter 13 Trustee are the issue, as they are almost always less than the amount as you think they should be.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC | Theodore N. Stapleton
    By definition your disposable income is income after reasonable expenses so you have money to live on after you file ch 13.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    Your disposable income is after all reasonable expenses. You should consult with an attorney to determine what you can do.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    No, all disposable income after necessary cost of living expenses has to be promised to the Plan. You will be able to deduct living expenses, food, utilities, etc. But the balance of your disposable income has to be paid to the court to pay creditors.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/20/2011
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