Chapter 13 Wage Deduction

The Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee encourages debtors to make monthly plan payments using a wage deduction order. At the debtor’s request, the bankruptcy court will send an order to the employer to withhold money from the employee’s paycheck and send it to the trustee. Cases using wage deduction have fewer instances of default

Many debtors don’t use wage deduction because they want to avoid informing their employer about the bankruptcy case. But does this make sense?

Bad credit can get you fired. Failure to manage your personal finances could lead to your termination, especially if you work for a bank and other financial institution, a retail store, or a business where you handle cash on a routine basis. Collection calls at work can get you fired. Mistakes and time off work can get you fired.

On the other hand, the federal bankruptcy laws prohibit government and private employers from firing you on the basis of your bankruptcy filing. By informing your employer that you have filed bankruptcy, you have put the employer on notice that you are dealing with your financial problems in a responsible and legal manner. In order to terminate you during your bankruptcy case, your employer must find a reason unrelated to your bankruptcy and personal finances. Consequently, most employers do not want to risk violating the federal law.

Finally, which is worse: to inform your employer of your bankruptcy through a wage deduction order, or for your employer to discover your financial problems through some other channel? Most employers (and people) respect honestly and forthrightness. Some employers conduct periodic credit checks on their employees, so your bankruptcy will be eventually discovered. This is especially the case with government work involving national security or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Of course, every situation is different and you should discuss your situation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Your attorney can help you decide if a wage deduction order is right for you

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