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Does cost of living affect my bankruptcy payment?

I filed for bankruptcy in Jan 2014. I was told that due to my income my payments would be $550.00 a month. I was living in northern Canada at the time and my cost of living was low. Shortly after, I had to move down to the coast for my job and my cost of living was higher but I was still required to make $550.00 a month payments. I fell behind in my payments. I reached out to my trustee a few time but have never gotten a reply about what is going to happen to me. I don’t know what to do. $550.00 a month is way too much for me to pay. I have the same pay but way more expenses

Posted from: British Columbia

One Response to “Does cost of living affect my bankruptcy payment?”

Desmond West-Chow, CIRP said...

When determining what individuals are required to pay into their bankruptcies, there is a calculation used referred to as the Superintendent’s guideline to surplus income. There are certain expenses which can be taken into account when calculating your required payment, called non-discretionary expenses. Examples of these are things like child or spousal support, medical conditions expenses, expenses as a condition of employment, etc. If these have changed, your payment may also be impacted by those changes. However, if income and non-discretionary expenses are substantially the same, your best option is to simply pay what you can. If you are unable to fulfill your total payment obligations once you’re eligible for discharge, your bankruptcy will be extended allowing you sufficient time to pay what is required. It is important however that you continue to submit the required paperwork (income and expense statements) and pay what you can. It is of the utmost importance that you show a good-faith effort in complying with your bankruptcy responsibilities.