Chapter 13 Overview

Belleville 618.236.7000
Granite City 618.656.7941

Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also known as the “wage earner plan,” enables clients to keep assets and establish a schedule to pay back creditors within an agreed upon time period. Filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy has several important benefits. Here is an explanation of how the process works.

After a client meets with our bankruptcy attorneys, and takes a brief credit counseling class online or by phone, their petition is prepared and then filed with the Court. This petition will include a household budget showing how much disposable income the client can use to pay back creditors. It will also contain a plan for repaying each type of creditor owed (taxes, secured debts, unsecured debts, child support, etc.).

The Court will assign a Trustee to the case, and send a notice out to each creditor stating that the client has filed a bankruptcy and is under the protection of the Court. Along with this notice, creditors will receive a Proof of Claim form to fill out and return to the Court, so that they can be paid back, at least in part, through the bankruptcy. The notice will list the date, time and place of the Meeting of Creditors, which usually takes place about a month after the bankruptcy petition is filed.

The client(s) must go to the Meeting of Creditors, at which the Trustee will review their petition and ask any questions necessary to be sure he or she understands the client’s financial situation clearly. A bankruptcy lawyer from TBC also attends this Meeting to assist the client as needed. Creditors may also go to this meeting to ask questions of the client, but very few of them generally attend.

If the client is employed, a wage order is issued by the Court, telling the employer to withhold the amount of the plan payment from the client’s wages each month, and send the payment to the Trustee. The Trustee will then send the money from this payment out to the creditors, as outlined in the Chapter 13 plan. Sometimes this plan needs to be modified, if the client’s financial situation changes or if claims made by creditors amount to more than was anticipated. This plan must be approved by the Trustee and the Court.

The client must complete a brief Financial Management course online or by telephone. After the last plan payment has been made to the Trustee, the Court will issue an order discharging all remaining unsecured debts included in the bankruptcy.

Don't wait until it may be too late to seek protection under the bankruptcy law. Schedule a FREE Consultation with one of our bankruptcy attorneys and learn how the bankruptcy law applies to your specific situation. Call TBC today at 618-236-7000 (Belleville, IL), 618-656-7941 (Granite City, IL).

Memberships & Associations


Belleville Location

The Bankruptcy Center
5312 West Main Street
Belleville, IL 62226
Tel: 618.236.7000

Granite City Location

The Bankruptcy Center
2021 Johnson Road, Suite 1
Granite City, IL 62040
Tel: 618.656.7941


The Law Office of Ronald A. Buch is a debt relief agency, helping people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.